Rogue traders who buy and sell scrap metal for cash face £5,000 fine under new laws designed to stamp out metal theft.
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which clamps down on rogue traders, means all scrap metal dealers will need to apply to Oxford council for a licence to operate under new rules which also give local authorities and police new powers to inspect premises where they suspect illegal activity.
As well as having the power to issue licences, councils will be able to refuse or revoke licences if a dealer is deemed unsuitable.
The move comes to combat metal theft which is estimated to cost the UK economy around £220 million a year.
The new scrap metal laws will also mean:
- all scrap metal dealers must verify the name and address of the seller at the point of sale, which is recorded and retained by the dealer
- the cashless offence will apply to all scrap metal dealers including ‘mobile collectors’ who collect door to door
- there will be a single national publicly available register of all scrap metal dealers
What is defined as scrap metal?
Scrap metal is any metal material that is no longer in use or is not suitable for its intended purpose. This metal can come from old cars, appliances, building materials, and other sources. Scrap metal is usually recycled for use in other products. Many scrap metal recycling centers will pay for scrap metal and can provide a service to help businesses and individuals dispose of it properly.
Scrap metal recycling is an important form of environmental stewardship. By recycling scrap metal, we can reduce the amount of metal that is sent to landfills, reducing the need to mine for new metal. In addition to conserving resources, scrap metal recycling also reduces carbon dioxide emissions, as it takes less energy to recycle metal than to create new products from raw materials. Scrap metal can also be reused to create new products, such as furniture, tools, and other items.