Control of Scrap Metal

The theft and movement of scrap metals has long been a cause of grave concern for communities, particularly rural ones. This of course also includes the theft of metal which is not scrap but which is stolen for its scrap value (copper piping in situ etc). As well as actual theft, there is a concern that gangs roaming to collect scrap metal may also be using house visits as preparation for other illegal activity. The legitimate scrap metal business in Ireland is relatively small and we believe could be easily and effectively regulated to substantially reduce illegal activity.

We request the Minister to amend Waste Collection Permit Regulations to include the following restrictions:
• prohibit cash payments in respect of material received;
• prohibit the purchase of metals which have been damaged by fire;
• require the production of proof of identity and current address of the person supplying the material;
• require records to be kept of the registration number and waste collection permit number of the delivery vehicle;
• require records to be kept describing the materials, time and date of sale, weight and amount paid etc;
• require a signed statement by the person supplying the material that they are the lawful owner of the material or have the consent of the lawful owner to sell the material;

Consideration should also be given to further restrictions, including:
• Payments to be made by way of credit transfer to seller’s bank account only.
• Drivers Licence or Passport to be utilised as proof of identity of seller (copy to be retained by purchaser).
• Current C2 of purchaser to be displayed on premises.
• All persons who engage in the storage, sale or transport of scrap metal should hold a current C2 Certificate and be registered with the governing Government Department.
• Community groups with charitable status to be exempt if engaged in collection of waste metal as part of fundraising.
• Legitimate Fire damaged materials should have a Fire Officers Certificate giving details of fire.

Summary Solutions:
• Waste Collection Permit Regulations should be amended to restrict unauthorised dealing. This can be done through controls over identity and payment as outlined in detail above.