Great Yarmouth scrap metal collectors carry ID to show they are not dodgy dealers
17:05 09 April 2014
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2014
Twenty-two people have been given licences to collect scrap metal in the Great Yarmouth borough.
Now there are new rules to clamp down on dodgy dealers and metal theft, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is reminding residents to always check that scrap metal dealers who come knocking on the doors are licensed to operate locally.
Under the old 1964 Scrap Metal Dealers Act anyone could register with the council as a scrap collector.
With the new licensing regime brought in by the government in October last year, dealers and site operators now apply for a licence, which the authority can refuse if the applicant is judged not to be “suitable”.
Val Pettit, cabinet member for the environment, said: “The telling fact that we have gone from four registered collectors to 22 licensed collectors indicates that this new legislation has immediately made the industry more accountable and transparent.
“As well as creating an audit trail to help deter crime and promote fair competition, the new regime also helps householders identify who the legitimate traders are, because all licensed dealers have to be checked for relevant past convictions, and must also have a waste carriers licence from the Environment Agency.
“I urge all residents approached by a scrap metal dealer to ask to see their licence to ensure metal does not end up in the wrong hands.
“It is not illegal to pass scrap metal to an unregistered dealer, but it is illegal to pass waste, including scrap metal, to someone who is not a licensed waste carrier.”
The new legislation, which is enforced by the police and local authorities, aims to tighten up the industry following a nationwide increase in metal theft in recent years, which has seen lead stolen from church roofs and cabling from railways.
So far, the borough council has issued 22 collector licences and seven site licences.
Under the previous regime, there were only four collectors and eight sites registered in the borough.
Residents considering handing over scrap metal should first ask to see the collector’s licence certificate, which must be displayed in the window of the operative’s vehicle. Not doing so runs the risk of handing waste to an illegal dealer.
The law also places a duty on a dealer, site manager, or employees with delegated responsibility to verify the full name and address of anyone they receive scrap metal from, and to keep a record of all scrap metal received or disposed of.
Anyone convicted of working without a licence will face a fine.
A full list of licensed collectors and sites is available online at www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/licensing/scrap-dealers