License Plates Can’t Go in the Bin

Recycling Rules

At Millennium, we get an interesting pulse on what’s currently going on in our area – Not from the daily news or networking circles – but from the materials that land on our tipping floor every day.

Around the holidays, we see a lot of food from all those leftovers tossed in the wrong bin. In spring, we see “clean-out” junk from basements and closets- many of which could have been re-used if taken to a thrift store instead of getting crushed or ruined in the recycling stream (not to mention contaminating true recyclables and having to be pulled out for the trash pile regardless).

So what’s going on in our area now? License Plate Renewals!

We’ve been seeing piles of license plates in the recycling stream, especially with the 2016 South Dakota re-issue.

This leads us to our question of the Day:

What types of metal can you recycle in the single stream? (We’ll give you a hint – Not license plates.)

The Yes Metals (Put in your recycling bin):

*All must be EMPTY of food & liquid  (AKA scrape it as much as you can- a little food left behind is fine)

  • Aluminum Cans (Soda & Beverage Cans)
  • Steel & Tin Cans (Soup, Tuna, Coffee Cans, Candy Tins, etc)
  • Aluminum Foil (Tip: Roll it into a ball)
  • Aluminum Trays and Pie Plates
  • Non-Hazardous Aerosol Cans (Food, Beauty, Fragrance, Household Spray – Must Be COMPLETELY Empty)


The No Metals (Take to a metal scrap dealer):

  • License Plates
  • Pipes
  • Car Parts
  • Silverware & Cutlary
  • Pots & Pans
  • Hangers
  • Chains
  • Any metals not on the Yes List (Still not sure? Ask Us!)

The WHY behind the NO

Non-single stream scrap metal of any size can cause excessive damage to the recycling equipment. Recycling machinery is specifically made to separate out the yes materials only (aluminium, steel and tin cans). Other items don’t meet the system requirements and aren’t automatically recognized to be sorted out, causing jams, injuries and downtime. Large items can ruin machinery and hurt employees who try to lift them off the line. Wiry items can get wrapped around equipment and shut the process down. Small items can contaminate otherwise clean streams because they’re not the same type of material- they can also be very sharp and present another danger to our employees sorting through the material.

Instead, take the No’s to a scrapyard, you might even get a few dollars back!


Check out our handy Where Do I Take This Tool for a complete list of where to take odd items for proper recycling or disposal. If what you’re looking for is not on the list, ask us! We’ll help you find the best disposal option in our area.