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April 2007

Michigan expands plate recycling

This year, the Secretary of State began retiring and replacing Michigan’s standard blue license plates. With approximately 5.6 million blue license plates currently in circulation, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is encouraging motorists to recycle their old license plates.

There are several options for Michigan residents to recycle these license plates. Many curbside recycling programs around the state already take scrap metal or have made arrangements to pick up license plates.

Interested parties can check with their local recycling program to find out if their license plate can be placed in the recycling bin or taken to a local recycling drop-off location.

To find a recycling contact, visit

If a local recycling program does not accept license plates, motorists can look for a scrap metal recycler in their community that will accept license plates. License plates may also be reused in a variety of ways with artists and crafters around the state often setting up collection points to use the license plates in their work.

Before recycling a license plate, it should be destroyed by cutting it in half or bending off a corner to discourage theft and fraud.

In addition to the 5.6 million blue license plates that will be replaced this year, approximately 8,000 state-owned license plates will also be replaced. The Michigan Department of Management and Budget already has a process in place to make sure these state license plates will be recycled.

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