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Maryland proposal requires hold on all scrap

Keywords: Tags  scrap metal legislation, tag and hold, Don Dwyer, Steven Schuh, Nicholaus Kipke, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — Recyclers in Maryland plan to fight proposed legislation that would require buyers to hold purchases of all ferrous and nonferrous metals for three days.

"We have been having meetings about this with several other companies and plan to go to the capital with our lobbyists to voice our concerns," one metal recycler said. A House Economic Matters Committee hearing on the bill is scheduled for Feb. 7.

The bill—which contains a single provision: recyclers have to keep scrap metal segregated and unprocessed for 72 hours—was sponsored by state Delegates Steven Schuh, Don Dwyer Jr. and Nicholaus Kipke, all Republicans representing the same district in Anne Arundel County.

It is unclear how the sponsors came up with the bill. Kipke said that he spoke with a lobbyist for the metal recyclers before introducing the measure, while the other two delegates didn’t respond to a request for comment.

"The bill doesn’t suggest segregating ferrous from nonferrous and is a vague and poor proposal," the recycler said. "Shredders are telling me that the feasibility of operating under the three-day tag and hold is impossible."

The recycler said he is working to inform and engage other recyclers about the issue. "We will rigorously defend ourselves against this if need be," he said.

Current state law requires recyclers to maintain photographic records of all sellers and transactions for a one-year period. It also stipulates that metal recyclers must hold their material for 15 days if requested by law enforcement.

A second recycler operating in the state said that the bill’s sponsors should have visited his scrapyard before making the proposal. "If they had bothered to stop here, we could have shown them it is physically impossible for any recycler to segregate piles and store it untouched for three days. ‘Where would we put the scrap?’ is what I would have asked them," he said.

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