Collecting scrap metal in Manchester

Another case of illegal scrap metal dealing on the streets of Manchester and we’re left scratching our heads. Is it really worth the risk to operate without a license?


Here are the facts

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 saw the government revise the previous legislation to crack down on rogue traders. From October 1st, 2013, all new and seasoned scrap metal dealers need to apply to their local council to obtain a licence. Collecting and selling scrap metal without a licence is a criminal offence.

It is also illegal to pay for scrap metal in cash. The recommended payment method is by cheque or electronic transfer. Failure to operate within the new rules could lead to fines of up to £5,000 (and you may be ordered to pay court costs).

The government enacted these changes in an effort to reduce metal theft – an illegal pastime for many criminals and dodgy dealers that has cost the taxpayer money (not to mention causing nationwide travel disruption). Prior to the introduction of these changes, “metal theft was estimated to cost the economy more than £220 million per year”.


Collecting scrap metal

You need a license if you are collecting scrap metal – there are two types dealers can apply for. You must hold either a site or mobile collector’s licence.

A site licence must be visible (and readable) to the public, in a prominent place at each site identified in the licence. A mobile collector’s license must be displayed on each vehicle associated with the business – again, this must be easy to read from outside of the vehicle.

Dealers can approach tradespeople (e.g. plumbers, builders), business owners or individuals to collect scrap metal, but abandoned sites, skips and bins are off limited unless they contact the owner. Removing scrap metal without authorisation will be considered metal theft – if someone’s been through your bins, you should report it!


Selling your scrap metal in Manchester

Your next step is to find a reputable, licenced scrap metal merchant in your local area. There are quite a few scrap dealers in Greater Manchester, including Singleton’s! We’re easy to find – our scrap yard is in Openshaw, about 10 minutes from the city centre and 15 minutes from the M60. No matter who you visit, here’s how to ensure your transactions are above-board:

Don’t accept cash for your scrap metal – cash offers are untraceable and consequently illegal. If a payment method allows the dealer to remain anonymous, don’t touch it with a bargepole. Our Scrap Metal Drive-in service is a convenient way to sell your scrap, offering on-the-spot electronic payments.

Do get in touch with your local licenced scrap yard for expert advice and assistance. Singleton’s are a licensed waste transfer station, a Government-authorised treatment facility for scrap cars, and we’re a member of the British Metals Recycling Association (view our full credentials and accreditations).

There’s no need to book – simply bring your scrap metal to our yard to be sorted, weighed and valued (please bring photo ID). We also offer regular scrap metal and car collections – please get in touch today to arrange a pick-up.

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