Scrap metal bills lead legislative push

Scrap metal bills lead recycling legislative push

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Now is a good time to propose scrap metal recycling legislation, if recent trends in state legislatures are any indication.

Forty-one state legislative sessions have concluded (with two of the remaining in limited special sessions), and a survey of the action during this period shows that 2013 was a productive year for legislators and advocates working on recycling bills. This session, Resource Recycling tracked 252 separate bills relating to recycling and waste management and of these, 41 passed into law. In 2012, by comparison, 27 recycling and waste management bills became law. In both years, however, the passage rate for recycling and waste bills was 16 percent.

Scrap metal theft legislation has emerged as a bipartisan success story over the past two years, with a total of 20 states successfully passing scrap metal recycling reform bills in 2012 and 2013. Typically involving strict record keeping requirements, limits on cash payouts, mandatory data reporting to law enforcement and other measures, these laws aim to make it more difficult for criminal elements to exploit the scrap metal recycling industry, as well as provide additional tools for law enforcement.

In 2011 just two bills were introduced relating to scrap metal and both failed to become law.

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