Collect and Recycle

Scrap Metal Dealers Bill passes successfully through Parliament

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Proposed legislation for the licensing of scrap metal dealers by local authorities, which also closes a loophole that means that itinerant scrap metal traders can continue trading with cash, has received final approval in Parliament. The news will interest many clients of Collect and Recycle’s ( scrap metal recycling services.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill completed its third reading in the House of Lords earlier this week, and now awaits Royal Assent. The Lords had their final chance to make alterations to the Bill in this third reading, but chose not to make any amendments. With agreement on the Bill’s text therefore having been reached by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, it will be known as the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2012-2013 after receiving Royal Assent.

Although it is not yet known when this will happen, it is thought likely to occur ahead of the summer, with the regulations set in the Act potentially becoming active by the autumn. The Bill’s measures include giving councils the authority to issue, revoke or suspend licences to trade in scrap metal. Meanwhile, the Environment Agency will have responsibility for maintaining a register of all of the UK’s licensed scrap dealers, which will also be publicly available.

Having first been tabled by Conservative backbench MP Richard Ottoway in the form of a Private Members Bill – a type that does not often traditionally make it into the statute book – the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill received sufficient support from the Home Office and opposition MPs to pass through Parliament.

Mr Ottoway commented after the Bill’s third reading in the House of Lords: “Today marks a significant victory for communities throughout the country. For too long they have provided rich feeding grounds for opportunistic thieves who know they can get rid of stolen metals at rogue or negligent scrap yards.

“Metal theft is no petty crime. It hits at the heart of our daily lives – grinding trains to a halt, cutting off power supplies to hospitals and other lifelines, stripping roofs off churches and schools at huge public expense.”

The news about the impending regulatory changes for aluminium and copper recycling was also welcomed by the body representing the UK’s councils, the Local Government Association (LGA). Councillor Mehboob Khan, chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, described it as “excellent news for councils up and down the country who have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous metal thieves.”

Meanwhile, the representatives of the UK’s scrap metal recyclers at British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) also welcomed the Bill’s passage through Parliament, as BMRA director general Ian Hetherington reasserted the importance of the reforms quickly becoming law.

As a fully licensed waste carrier, here at Collect and Recycle (, we also completely support the anticipated passage of the Bill into law. Customers of our own copper and aluminium recycling services are assured that our practices always remain fully in compliance with the latest legislation.

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