Recycling license plates helps Habitat for Humanity

Missouri's license plates have recently undergone a facelift - so what happens to all those old plates?

In most cases, they're just tossed out and end up in a landfill. But one Jefferson City councilwoman is trying to change that in an effort to help a needy family.

When Fourth Ward Councilwoman Carrie Carroll went to get her new license plate last year, she was surprised by what the DMV told her.

"When I took my license plate to get renewed I asked what to do with my old one," Carroll said. "And they said to throw it away."

But instead of throwing her old plates away, Carroll came up with an idea.

"Other states seem to have drop-off locations and programs in place," she said. "So I wondered even locally if I could start something to get people interested in bringing their old plates in."

So Carroll started "License 2 Build" - a partnership with River City Habitat for Humanity to recycle Missouri's old aluminum plates. The money raised will go to help build a home for a needy Jefferson City family later this year.

It will also help the environment by keeping old license plates, that can be recycled, out of landfills.

"It's just a win-win for everyone," said Carol Scott with Habitat for Humanity.

Six car dealerships have agreed to be drop-off points for people who want to donate their old license plates. Mike Kehoe, a Jefferson City car dealer, jumped at the chance to help.

"I thought it was a great idea," said Kehoe. "I wish we would have had it first."

It doesn't matter if you have an old Missouri license plate or an out of state one, all six dealers will take them. And they'll put your new plate on your car for free.

Even with the price of aluminum down, organizers say the money adds up over time. So instead of going in the trash, your old license plates can now go green.

If you'd like to drop off your old license plates, here are a list of the Jefferson City dealers who are participating:

  • Mike Kehoe Ford, Lincoln/Mercury, 807 Southwest Boulevard
  • Riley Chevrolet, 2033 Christy Drive
  • Riley Toyota-Scion-Cadillac, 3205 Missouri Blvd.
  • Reagan Honda, 3214 Missouri Blvd.
  • Reagan Hyundai, 3225 Missouri Blvd.
  • Capitol Chrysler-Dodge-Nissan, 3201 Missouri Blvd.

Organizers plan to collect license plates through the end of the year. Habitat for Humanity is also collecting aluminum cans to help build houses in the area.