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RI city steps back on 10-day tag and hold

Keywords: Tags  metals recyclers, scrap metals ordinance, tag-and-hold rule, Providence city council, Rhode Island regulations, recycling, metals theft, scrap Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — City council members in Providence, R.I., have softened their stance on proposed metals recycling restrictions but are still expected to finalize new, stiffer rules for recyclers by the end of the month.

The city in June suggested enacting changes to an existing ordinance that would have required recyclers to tag and hold all metals purchases for 10 days (, June 22).

The city council has since passed a draft law reducing the lengthy tag-and-hold period to three days for most items, requiring the 10-day hold only for such items as grave markers, weathervanes, sculptures and publicly owned property.

Under the new rules, any purchase of such items as manhole covers would have to be accompanied by a release form issued by the governmental agency disposing of the material.

Recyclers would also be required to keep a digital image of the seller’s identification and a record of the delivery vehicle’s license plate number for a two-year period.

The city council preliminarily passed the draft ordinance Jan. 4. After a second and final vote scheduled for Jan. 17, the mayor must sign or reject the ordinance by Jan. 28, according to a city employee.

The ordinance would take effect as soon as it is approved.

Local recyclers are pleased with the changes to the original draft. "A 10-day tag-and-hold (period) would have literally sunk the state based on how small of a size we are," a local recycler told AMM.

The new version of the proposed rules is more practical than the original, a second recycler said. "It is the best of the worst and will make it easier for us," the recycler said. "Their motivation is to prevent the theft of city-owned property, so in that regard it is reasonable."

Thieves stole more than 200 manhole covers from the city in 2012, and Providence had 190 copper theft incidents in 2011, according to the draft ordinance.

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