Secretary of State announces recycling program on Earth Day
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office has launched a recycling program for old license plates.
In the past, outdated vehicle tags often wound up as "decor in someone’s garage" or got tossed out in the trash, said White spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaufman.
Now, motorists can drop off their old "Land of Lincoln" plates in recycling bins that have been installed inside all 136 motor vehicle facilities run by the Secretary of State’s Office. The bins have been in place for a couple of weeks, but White officially unveiled the recycling initiative on Tuesday, which was Earth Day, Kaufman said.
"This is just one of those ways the secretary is working toward greening the office," she said. "We’re all concerned about the environment.
"It’s just another way of not being wasteful."
After motorists drop off their old license plates, employees from White’s office will take them to the secretary of state’s Springfield warehouse to be shredded. From there, a scrap metal vendor, Ley Metals in Springfield, will pick up the shredded metal.
The discarded metal goes to a regional smelting operation, which means material from the old license plates will be reused, but not in new Illinois license plates, Kaufman said.
She said the recycling program carries a $10,000 startup cost, but it also is expected to generate some extra money because the scrap metal vendor pays White’s office for the shredded license plates. It is unknown how many discarded license plates will be collected in the new program.
White’s office has implemented other recycling initiatives, such as sending motorists their renewal notices in re-usable envelopes.
The state’s license plate production contract with Decatur-based Macon Resources also requires all new license plates to contain recycled aluminum when possible. The plates consist of 99 percent recycled aluminum, Kaufman said.
Illinois license plates produced prior to 2004 were made of galvanized steel, which also can be recycled.
Adriana Colindres can be reached at (217) 782-6292 or email@example.com.