Recyclers see major end-users as the weakest link in the anti-theft enforcement chain

Aug 01, 2010 | 07:59 AM | Tatyana Shumsky

Every industry has a dark underside. Recyclers are no exception but most yards, by and large, have worked hard to promote best practices when it comes to preventing metals theft. And given the patchwork quilt of jurisdiction-specific laws governing scrap processing on state, county and city levels, detterence is no easy feat—and more often than not very costly.

Recyclers work with law enforcement officials and the community in an effort to comply with increasingly burdensome regulations to prevent stolen metal from entering the supply chain. The weak link, in their view, is the end-user segment, where many still fail to take basic precautions when storing copper and other valuable commodities.

"There are still some stakeholders that don't do as much as they could to attempt to secure their valuables," said Gary Bush, director of materials theft prevention at the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

Bush, who spent 32 years in law enforcement, much of it investigating metal thefts, joined ISRI to bridge the gap between the recycling community and law enforcement. "I've been able to see the problem from both sides of the fence," he said.....

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