Newsletter of the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries
Volume 19, No. 2, February 2014
FROM THE CHAIR
Although we’ve begun a new year, we’re dealing with many of the same old problems. Metal theft and legislations surrounding metal theft remain at the top of the list of CARI’s ongoing issues.
Last fall CARI staff and I had the opportunity to hear about a new collaborative program in Alberta that would see utilities companies, police, and scrap dealers working together to protect material and catch thieves. In a refreshing presentation to CARI members at the Alberta chapter meeting, Dean Young, Manager of Security at AltaLink (Alberta’s largest electrical transmission company) expressed regret that utilities had been laying the blame for metal theft at the feet of recyclers rather than properly protecting their material. Young spoke about the need for utilities companies to take responsibility for their materials, and their desire to work with scrap recyclers in establishing a new program to fight metal theft. He said a similar program might be established in Ontario as well.
We see these programs as a positive development both in the battle against metal theft and in the battle against misinformation about our industry. CARI encouraged Mr. Young and offered to consult and assist with these programs whenever needed.
In the meantime, CARI continues to make use of its established tool in the fight against metal theft. The website www.ScrapTheftAlert.com is a collaborative program CARI and ISRI established in 2008. Users complete a form describing the theft and the stolen material, and an alert is broadcast by email to all subscribers within a 160-kilometer radius of the theft location. Information on reported thefts remains active on the website for 14 days. The site has been responsible for the recovery of over $1M USD in stolen material and hundreds of arrest warrants issued because of the recovered material.
CARI and ISRI believe the Scrap Theft Alert website is of great benefit to their members, but it needs to be made the most of. CARI encourages all recyclers to register on the site and to encourage their local law enforcement officers to do the same. If you suspect material coming into your yard may be illegitimate, check the website for material with a similar description. When you are approached by law enforcement regarding stolen material, direct them to our administrator for www.ScrapTheftAlert.com, Tracy Shaw (tracy [at] cari-acir.org). If you have material stolen or know of stolen material, contact Tracy.
Lastly, if you know of material that was recovered or arrests that resulted from a Scrap Theft Alert bulletin we’ve issued, let us know. We want to show the public that recyclers are taking positive steps to curb metal theft and that working with us is the best chance at solving this problem.
CARI member Rochester Aluminum Smelting Canada Limited has added a new Senior Manager for Trading in Quebec and the Maritimes, Danielle Coudé. Danielle has extensive experience in the aluminium business, most recently with Zabo Alloys.
Take Back the Light, a mercury-containing lamp recycling program, is in search of a company to dismantle light fixtures such as street lights into their component parts. If you are such a company, they welcome the opportunity to discuss this idea further.
Please contact Jodi Houston, Outreach Manager at 416-657-2797×10 or jodi [at] rco.on.ca.
- The Ontario Ministry of Environment posted on the EBR for a 60 day consultation regarding its project to implement a standards-based license for auto recyclers. The EBR Registry Number is 012-0678 and can be found at http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External
- WEEE regulators in the U.K. have moved closer to designating small mixed WEEE as hazardous waste. U.K.’s Environment Agency recently defined small mixed WEEE as “typically small items of WEEE, some of which contain hazardous components.” This definition will require producers to label and treat small mixed WEEE loads as hazardous. Examples of hazardous components include nickel cadmium batteries in power tools, mercury gas discharge lamps in larger LCD screens, and mercury switches built into older coffee machines and telephones.
- At Recycling Council of Ontario’s recent AGM, attendees learned from one of Germany’s competition watchdogs how that country moved away from an EPR monopoly model and what resulted from the change. According to the German Federal Cartel Office, moving to a competitive EPR system resulted in a more than 50% drop in the operational costs for the monopoly-based system. What cost some two billion Euros to operate in 1995, dropped to just less than one billion Euros by 2011.
- Three men were charged after the theft of a sea container full of copper wire in Brighton, Ontario. The suspects used a scrapped vehicle from the yard to remove more than $6,000 worth of wire.
- ISRI has established a new Law Enforcement Advisory Council to advise the Association in the development of a comprehensive program to address metals theft. The Council is made up of experienced law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and security personnel from around the U.S. The resulting program will include a multi-layered training program to assist law enforcement.