• ISRI is a member of and proud partner with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC). NCPC uses their trademark McGruff The Crime Dog® to remind citizens to “Take a Bite out of Crime®.”
• ISRI has established a Theft Alert System, an email system to notify scrap recyclers to watch for reported stolen materials.
• ISRI has adopted “Recommended Practices and Procedures for Minimizing the Risks of Purchasing Stolen Scrap Materials.” Additional information may be found at www.isri.org/theftalert.
• Many ISRI members already require retail sellers to provide photo identification such as a driver’s license when making a transaction.
More information can be found at www.isri.org/theftalert.
A scrap processor is the first link in a large manufacturing chain providing raw material (scrap) to other manufacturers for the creation of a finished product. This chain begins and ends with the scrap processor. The business of scrap processing encourages recycling, responsible environmental management, and a reduction of material destined to our communities’ overburdened landfills. A scrap processor has invested thousands, if not millions, of dollars in equipment that specialize in sorting, shredding, shearing and chopping scrap material all in an effort to prepare the material for sale to a manufacturer. A pawn broker does not have this intensive capital investment in equipment and can operate out of a storefront.
Scrap processors take unneeded materials, then convert and package them as specification-grade commodity materials. Almost by definition, commodities are subject to price fluctuation. Restricting the ability to sell materials on demand can unintentionally impose a substantial financial penalty on the processor and could disrupt the need for feedstock material for other manufacturers in the community or elsewhere.
Tag and hold is also not practical for most processors because of the sheer volume of materials that move in a yard each day. The ability to comply would be dictated by the size of the scrap facility. Segregating materials that come in each day into piles would require enormous amounts of land that are simply not found in most scrap recycling facilities.
Laws that require scrap processors to notify law enforcement officials of every transaction that they make have not proven to be an effective means of tracking stolen materials. Such notifications would overwhelm and overburden the law enforcement agency tasked to keep track of the notifications. In many cases, maintaining the records that would be generated by this requirement would force the law enforcement agency either to incur significant overtime from law enforcement personnel or to hire additional staff. Either way, it would impose significant costs on the municipality.
In addition, these notification requirements cause the scrap processor to become, in effect, an adjunct to the law enforcement agency. Scrap processors are private citizens and as such, do not have a law enforcement background. As private citizens, they should not be required to do investigations on material a law enforcement agency has not notified them about. If informed by law enforcement of stolen material, scrap processors will voluntarily notify the appropriate law enforcement agency if they believe they may have seen the material. Lastly, ISRI’s national headquarters sends out ISRI Theft Alerts by email on a regular basis to scrap processors in the areas surrounding where the material was stolen. ISRI Theft Alerts have been successful in recovering stolen material in the past.
• A&A Midwest is a member of ISRI