Missouri Habitat Program Recycles Old License Plates

Photo: Dor.mo.gov

Under a new state law, Missouri drivers are required to trade in their license plates for a new model once their vehicle is up for registration. In conjunction, a new Habitat for Humanity (H2H) program is recycling the old aluminum plates to raise money for low-income housing.

Photo: Dor.mo.gov

Vehicle owners in Missouri will be required to obtain the new license plate (pictured above) once their tags expire. Photo: Dor.mo.gov

The program, dubbed License 2 Build, has collected 1,000 plates in the Jefferson City area since April, according to the Jefferson City News Tribune.

The local River City H2H chapter is hoping to raise $65,000 by the end of 2009, which will go toward building supplies for new homes.

H2H has an international program known as Cans for Habitat, which collects aluminum for recycling - typically the most valuable material to re-sell. The News Tribune reports that a Missouri license plate has the same amount of aluminum as 7.7 cans.

Jefferson City residents can participate by bringing in their old plate to a local car dealership once the new plate arrives via mail. These dealerships will also accept out-of-state plates, for new residents that re-register their vehicles.

These service departments will also install the new plates, which will be implemented primarily for security reasons to present registration sticker theft.

Latest posts by Trey Granger (see all)

  • Carrie Carroll

    I hope other communities use our example to implement recycling programs for old license plates too! Here’s an easy outline to get started:

    Step 1: Designate a chairperson, the point person that will coordinate this.

    Step 2: Partner with a local group that will recycle the plates and will benefit from the proceeds. In our case it was Habitat for Humanity, they already collect aluminum for their fundraising. Habitat is responsible for making a box to put the plates in, distributing them to the dealerships and picking up the plates as they get full and recycling them.

    Step 3: Talk to the local car dealerships, find one or several that will serve as drop off locations. We chose the auto dealers because it was a secure location. The plates cannot be used after they are expired but we still wanted to keep them in a safe place. In some states they mark through the plates with a marker or bend them so they cannot be reused, they should be expired anyway. Our local New Car Dealers Association was very helpful organizing the drop off locations. They also offered to put new license plates on for free to anyone who brings their plates to the dealerships. Many dealerships do this anyway so it was a perfect fit for this program.

    Step 4: Design a flyer, let me know if you’d like me to e-mail our example, carrieocarroll@gmail.com.

    Step 5: Publicity and promotion, we contacted all the tv, radio, newspaper, websites, community organizations, schools, etc.