Money from recycled number plates will help build house for needy family

JEFFERSON CITY -- Missouri's number plates have recently undergone a facelift - so what happens to all those old number 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 number plate last year, she was surprised by what the DMV told her.

"When I took my number plates in for renewal I asked what to do with my old ones," Carroll said. "And they said to throw them away."

But instead of throwing her old number 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 number plates in."

So Carroll started "License 2 Build" - a partnership with River City Habitat for Humanity to recycle Missouri's old aluminum number 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 number 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 number 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 number 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 number plates can now go green.

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

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