Wednesday 21 March 2018

Licenced scrap metal dealers getting a bum rap


Clyda Rovers Instrumental Music group of Sarah O'Hanlon, Cormac O'Hanlon, Garret O'Hanlon and Donncha O'Hanlon with Robert Frost, Vice Chairman Munster GAA, and Jim Enright, Chair

Munster Scór A LICENCED scrap metal dealer in Mitchelstown has hit out at the "unfair tarnished view" that dealers will take in stolen road signs.

Neil Barry of STR Truck Spares was responding to an article in The Corkman in which councillors at Cork County Council lamented the deluge of thefts of road signs around the county.

However, Mr Barry said: "Any licensed dealer will not take in any road signs or any other product if they are of the view that it has been stolen. Licensed dealers are being portrayed as dodgy, shady characters."

He said that anyone who is a licensed scrap metal must absolutely comply with the Cork County Council's Waste Management Act. This, in effect, means that all licensed holders must take the name, address and vehicle registration of the customer. In addition, CCTV footage is in place to record all movements.

"Cork County Council or the Gardai can walk into my yard at any time and demand all documents going back three years. Everything is traceable," said Mr Barry.

"The scrap metal business is one of the most heavily regulated and legislated. People are of the view that when anything is stolen that it will automatically end up in a scrap yard and yield high prices," he said.

Mr Barry said he wanted to quickly dispel the myth surrounding the price of scrap metal. "People think that scrap metal is making €1,000 a tonne; that is absolutely not true, especially when you consider that one tonne of new production steel has an average price of €750 plus," he said.

"If scrap metal was making that kind of money ... well, I'd be talking to you from the Bahamas."

He said, in the last few years, Cork County Council has closed down 88-90 unlicensed scrap metal dealers in the region. However, he said an unlicensed scrap metal dealer could be someone who has a shed at the back of their houses and who "scraps two to three cars per year."

He further challenged Cllr Timmy Collins (Ind) who said at the council meeting that legislation needed to be activated so that scrap dealers cannot pay out cash for transactions. "The problem is that anyone without any identification can sell on scrap. That is not helping the problem," said Cllr Collins (Ind) at the full council meeting at County Hall.

Mr Barry said that Cllr Collins was incorrect in his view, as for licensed scrap metal dealers it is very heavily legislated under the Waste Management Act.