New scrap metal laws are ‘absolutely critical’ says Stevenage firm

New rules have been imposed on scrap metal traders

New rules have been imposed on scrap metal traders - Credit: Archant

A scrap company that worked with the government to crack down on metal theft has called a new piece of legislation “absolutely critical”.

Employees at Alchemy Metals Ltd, based in Cavendish Road, Stevenage, say the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act, which came into force on October 1, is essential in preventing illegitimate trade.

Media manager, Nicola Guest, said: “Like any industry, ours has got a bad side, but in our industry we all get tarred with the same brush.

“The reality is that the scrap metal industry has had a questionable reputation for a long time; though it became more prevalent over the last few years. I think what will happen in the long run is that the act will allow legitimate businesses like ourselves to thrive while giving authorities the power to tackle some of the unscrupulous merchants. I feel it’s absolutely critical and a long time overdue.

“The key thing with the bill was not to let too much red tape in. They didn’t want to be disruptive. In terms of day-to-day trading it will have no impact on us, but it will mean companies that have been out stealing metal will struggle for a licence this time around.”

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Under the act all scrap metal dealer must obtain a licence to trade from their local authority with councils now able to refuse or revoke licences.

The act also makes it illegal for anyone to buy or sell scrap metal with cash and gives councils new powers of entry and inspection and the ability to shut down rogue dealers.

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