Eric Lavely, the manager at Automotive Core Supply in Sylvester, says the new laws didn’t hurt the metal recycling business — misinformation did.
ALBANY — Frustrated metal-recycling business managers are asking for accurate information on new laws impacting their business.
“It isn’t the new laws that are killing our business,” said Eric Lavely, manager of Automotive Cores Supply of Sylvester. “It is the false information put out there on TV that the public doesn’t realize is false.”
Along with his office manager, Elizabeth Kenna, Lavely said there were three things that are wrong with online and broadcast reports.
Kenna explained there can be no cash payments to people who bring metal in to sell as scrap. The scrap business can cut a check at the time the metal is handed over.
“They said you have to wait a week,” Kenna said. “That is just wrong.”
Lavely chimed in and said that as an alternative a voucher can be issued. The voucher must be held for three days and then redeemed at the recycling business for cash.
Kenna said another report falsely stated that people have to register with the sheriff’s office to turn in scrap metal at a dealer’s business. That is not true, she added. Due to her complaints, online information on that issue was deleted online, she said.
Registration involves the scrap-metal dealers registering with authorities, just like many other businesses register for their licenses. Kenna said that regular people with some junk, maybe stuff from their garage, to get rid of are free to come in and sell their junk.
The effect of misinformation on the scrap metal business has greatly added to the general decline in metal sales also impacted by lower prices, Lavely said.
“We’ve gone down 50-60,000 pounds a day,” Lavely said. “I’ve laid off five people.”
Lavely likes the new laws that make it more difficult for thieves to sneak stolen materials in. He doesn’t want stolen metal.
Law enforcement agencies such as the Albany Police Department have said that new laws have reduced thefts of stolen copper and other metals.
Using checks costs Lavely’s business because the banks charge businesses for checks beyond a prescribed number. The good effect is that he doesn’t keep much cash on hand, he said.
There are people who do depend on finding scrap metal such as aluminum cans, old appliances and other junk as a matter of survival. They will just have to take a voucher and wait three days for cash, or find a way to cash a check if they don’t have a checking account, according to the new laws effective July 1.
Chip Koplin of Schnitzer Southeast couldn’t say how much the new laws have affected the Schnitzer business, but he supports them.
“All I can say is that we have had a lot of calls about the laws,” Koplin said. “You can get the laws at georgiarecyclers.org.”