New law to control sale of scrap metals would ban cash payments


New regulations to control the sale of scrap metals would prohibit cash payments and require proof of identity from sellers.

The proposed regulations were put out for public consultation yesterday by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan. They are being proposed following the widespread theft of metals, which have increased greatly in value in recent years.

The thefts have included lead roofing from bandstands in the National Botanic Gardens and the Phoenix Park in Dublin, copper cables from Eircom depots, bronze and copper monuments and religious items.

The proposed new regulations, the Waste Management (Facility Permit and Regulation) (Amendment) Regulations 2012, will place obligations on scrap-metal dealers.

They will be banned from paying cash for scrap metal and will have to keep a record of the identity and address of individuals selling to them as well as details of the delivery vehicle, materials sold and amount paid.

They will also have to obtain a signed statement from the seller declaring lawful ownership of the material or stating they have permission to sell it.

Mr Hogan said yesterday while “the scourge of metal theft” raised issues beyond the Waste Management Act, appropriate checks at waste facilities would “greatly help in resolving this problem”.

Consultation on the regulations will be open to the public until December 14th.

John Comer, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, said the farming community had been “systematically targeted by gangs of criminals specialising in metal theft”.