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Mich. scrap laws face uphill battle: recyclers

Keywords: Tags  scrap law, Michigan, metals theft, recycling, Eileen Kowall, Phil Cavanaugh, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — A new set of regulations in Michigan intended to reduce scrap metal thefts has come under fire from recyclers, who claim they will impose additional burdens on scrap processors and won’t reduce theft.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Eileen Kowall (R.) and Rep. Phil Cavanagh (D.), allocates additional resources to law enforcement agencies dealing with the issue and would provide funding for state police to develop a comprehensive offenders’ registry (, May 14). The registry would be funded by a point-of-sale transaction fee assessed by recyclers.

"Why do we keep putting additional constraints on the good players when we need to be focusing on the bad guys? I think it’s imperative that any law that gets passed is truly curbing metal theft and not just side-stepping the issue," one Michigan recycler told AMM. "We will continue to work with lawmakers to put something in place that actually stops metal theft. Enforcement is the key issue here. We desperately need it."

"Why are scrap companies responsible for enforcing the rules these bills outline? We know law enforcement is stretched thin, but we shouldn’t have to be responsible for their lack of resources," a second recycler said.

State lawmakers have scheduled a hearing for June 18 to discuss issues surrounding the implementation and enforcement of the proposed legislation.

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    Jun 18, 2013

    The new theft laws imposed on Florida recyclers has hurt our industry, substantial drops in several commodities. Scrap theft is still vibrant. Criminals do not abide by law but yet we make more laws for them. People who steal scrap just find other ways to profit. Our new laws have done nothing but create more gray areas in scrap regulations, reduce profits, reduction in workforce and increase in overhead expenses. They have solved nothing!

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