Georgia House Bill 872, intended to crack down on scrap metal theft, prohibits businesses that buy scrap metal from paying recyclers in cash. Payments can only be made by check, electronic funds transfer, or voucher for regulated metal property.
The change also prohibits a secondary metals recycler from redeeming or cashing any check or electronic funds transfer paid to a seller for regulated metal property. Scrap metals dealers are also prohibited from providing or permitting any mechanism on the premises of the secondary metals recycler for the redemption or cashing of any check or electronic funds transfer.
The new law, approved by the Georgia General Assembly and signed by the governor, goes into effect today. It also requires
secondary metals recyclers to register with the sheriff in the county where the business is located.
According to Spalding County Sheriff Wendell Beam secondary metals recycler is defined as any person who is engaged, from a fixed location or otherwise, in the business in this state of paying compensation for regulated metal property that have/has served their its original economic purpose, whether or not engaged in the business of performing the manufacturing process by which ferrous metals or non ferrous metals are regulated metal property is converted into raw material products consisting of prepared grades and having an existing or potential economic value.
Chief Investigator Capt. Tony Ranieri said the registration pertains to not only stand alone businesses, but anyone who makes a living recycling. The law also limits who the dealers can take the materials from and requires documentation to prove ownership.
“Hopefully this will cut down on the number of metal thefts,” Ranieri said.
The instructions and forms as well as directions to fill them out will eventually be located on the county website, but is not currently. Ranieri said the forms are available at the Sheriff’s Office and once business owners are ready to register the form and the $200 fee (check and or money order) must be brought to the Sheriff’s Office where it will be verified by an investigator and electronically filed with the Secretary of State’s Office.
As of Thursday afternoon only one of the three stand alone businesses in town had registered, Ranieri said. The Sheriff’s Office began the registration process Thursday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon each day and the registration is for a one year period and must be renewed each year.
Ranieri said the Sheriff’s Office will continue to register secondary metals recyclers as they come in and reminded them that after July 1, those not registered that continue to operate are violation of state law. “This is all new to us and to them,” Ranieri said.
Businesses with questions pertaining to the registration can contact Sheriff’s Office Chief Investigator Capt. Tony Ranieri at 770-467-5448.