Cash for scrap ban looms over metals recycling industry

Cashless trading laws are set to change the face of metals recycling and scrap trading from the start of December.

Despite fierce objections from leaders in the metals recycling industry, the cash ban will come into place on December 3rd, and will herald one of the largest changes to the industry since the inception of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act in 1964.

Customers at all scrap yards across the UK will now have the option of being paid by cheque or by auditable electronic payment only; no cash payments will be allowed. Customers will also have to provide both photographic identification and proof of address, not just once but every time they weigh metal in.

Innovative solutions
As a leader in innovative recycling solutions, Recycling Lives has found an intuitive and compliant way to balance security with convenience; the company will be allowing its repeat customers to register for a Trade Card, which will prevent them having to produce ID documentation on every visit.

The company is also looking at providing customers with the option of an electronic Top-Up card. Instead of receiving a cheque or bank transfer, customers will be able to receive payments on their card, which can be used in the same way as any other debit card. Customers can either withdraw funds from the card via cash-points, or use the card to make other payments. Recycling Lives has had talks with the Home Office to ensure that both of its unique card schemes are fully compliant with the new legislation, and has the backing of the local police service.

David Brown, Temporary Geographic Inspector at Fulwood Police, commented:

“Lancashire Police has an excellent, long-standing relationship with Recycling Lives. The company is leading the way when it comes to tackling scrap metal theft, and has been especially pro-active with the introduction of the ID verification systems on its sites, designed to ease the transition into cashless transactions.

“During Operation Tornado, which took place this summer, Recycling Lives was identified as one of the best recycling firms in the country; colleagues on the operation were astounded by just how seriously the company is taking the problem of scrap metal theft, and how closely they’re working with the local police service to develop a solution.

“Here at the Neighbourhood Policing Team, we fully support and endorse the way that Recycling Lives is embracing the new legislation, and we look forward to continuing our positive relationship with the company.”

A problematic situation
The outright ban on cash payments for scrap metal is set to hit the industry hard and has caused a rift between those dealers who are trying to accommodate the ban and those who are fighting it. A number of metals recyclers are planning to risk legal action by continuing to trade scrap for cash next month in the hope of securing an injunction against the ban.

While Recycling Lives recognises the difficulties connected to the new cash ban, the company is focusing its efforts on finding new ways to keep business running at full speed; as the introduction of cashless transactions looms, we are reassessing our technology, procedures, and staff training. Although we, like every other scrap trader in the UK, will no longer be able to offer customers the ease of cash payments, we are doing our best to deliver the top quality customer service that our customers have come to expect over the years.

The issue of scrap metal theft is a serious one. And, while Recycling Lives may have preferred to see a different approach to tackling scrap metal theft, we are doing our best to support the new measures that the Government has introduced. As with all other developments in the environmental and recycling sectors, Recycling Lives aims to lead the way in developing industry best practice and providing its customers with convenient, innovative and secure recycling solutions.