Area programs turn used license plates into money for local charities

iowa city fed platesThe recycled plates have generated about $35,000 over the last decade

Alison Gowans, The Gazette

January 27, 2015 | 7:50 pm

Iowa drivers go through a lot of license plates.

Every month, Johnson County Treasurer Thomas Kriz’s office collects hundreds of used license plates, filling dozens of boxes.

That’s a lot of metal that could end up in the landfill, or in the hands of criminals who use discarded plates in thefts, Kriz said. Instead, a partnership between the county and volunteers at the Iowa City Federation of Labor turns the used license plates into money for local non-profits.

The group meets periodically to sort the collected plates and transport them to scrap metal company Marion Iron, where they are shredded and recycled. Scrap metal prices change frequently, but Kriz said each plate typically brings in 10 to 12 cents.

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