New Scrap Yard Bill; It’s a Start But Watered Down


DETROIT, MI – The Michigan State Senate overwhelmingly approved the new copper pipelegislation to help fight the many issues that are caused by the illegal scrapping of commercial and residential buildings.  It is a start but, sadly, it is watered down and certainly does not go far enough.

What the bill does cover is:

  • air conditioning units
  • copper wiring
  • catalytic converters

Requirements of this legislation are that money will be sent by mailed check to an address that must match the persons identification. A 3 day waiting period will be instituted before any checks will be sent out.

The other option is a  wire transfer instead of having to mail the payments to a physical address.

Recycling companies could also enter into an agreement with customers requiring them to return to the facility in three days to pick up payment. If the seller did not return within 30 days, the scrap metal dealer could keep the cash.

All other items will be given no more than $25 at time of purchase from a scrap yard.  All items sold to scrap yards will require a picture identification. Scrap yards will be required to input those selling scrap items into a database that police will be able to access.

What the bill does not cover:

  • copper piping
  • how many times a person can return within a period of time
  • how to ensure the scrap yards cannot skate around the limit of no more than $25 being paid out in cash.

There are those in local governments that wanted more from this new legislation.  Concerns now are that a rash of copper pipes will be stolen from buildings because those are not covered in this bill.  It is no surprise that those business owners in the scrap yard industry have been opposed to any new laws or rules that would impact them.

State Representative Rashida H. Tlaib has fought tirelessly to get this bill passed.  She is to be congratulated on her efforts.  She will no doubt fight to strengthen this bill as it goes forward.  Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has also scored a win when it comes to the battle of Detroit being ripped apart.

The tool that was hoped for has been whittled down to not more than a slap and extra steps to do the same as before.  But it’s a start.  It is expected that Governor Rick Snyder will sign it into law tomorrow March 21, 2014.

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