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Can Scrap Metal be Paid For in Cash?

Taking your scrap metal to a reputable scrap metal merchant provides a whole host of benefits.

As well as providing you with a place to responsibly dispose of leftover scrap metal in an environmentally friendly way, it can also be lucrative. 

That’s right, you can be paid for scrap metal that would otherwise just be left taking up space on your site. 

What’s not to like?

At Hill Metal Recycling, we operate a leading scrap metal recycling service in Harlow and throughout Essex. With more than 25 years of experience in the business, we’re experts in the process. With this in mind, in this article, we’ll be answering one of the most common questions we’re asked – can scrap metal be paid for in cash?

Can you get cash for your scrap metal?

No, it is no longer legal for scrap metal to be paid for with cash.

While it may once have been common practice to swap scrap metal for physical cash, this was made illegal by legislation that was introduced in 2013. 

Why can’t you get paid in cash for scrap metal?

Since 2013, it has been illegal for scrap metal to be paid for with cash. This marked a significant change in the industry, as before this point it was common for scrap yard merchants to deal almost exclusively in physical money. 

The previous Scrap Metal Dealers Act, which had been in place since 1964, was updated to reflect the modern world and now scrap metal can only be paid for via cheque or, more commonly, an electronic payment system.

The main reason for the change was to create a transparent system that was auditable and where all transactions could be traced. As well as this, the UK was experiencing a large amount of metal theft prior to the legislation, as thieves would steal metal and then sell it for untraceable cash. 

As well as outlawing the use of cash, the new legislation also states that any business that buys or sells scrap must be formally registered with their local authority as a scrap metal dealer.

Any scrap metal dealer that is found to be paying in cash will face hefty fines, and in the most serious instances, police may even be summoned to search the premises.

If you’re looking to sell your scrap metal and are offered cash for it, you should always refuse. This is because it means the dealership is engaging in illegal activity and is, therefore, not a reputable company to be doing business with. 

If I can’t get cash for my scrap metal, how am I paid?

When cash payments were banned more than a decade ago, a new payment process was introduced.

To get money for scrap metal, most scrap metal merchants now use the Bread4Scrap system.

Bread4Scrap is a prepaid card, similar to your debit or credit card. However, it is not linked to your bank. 

When you bring scrap metal to a yard, the dealer will send your payment electronically to your Bread4Scrap card. You can then move the money to your bank account or withdraw it as you please. It’s important to note that you can only have £5,000 on the card at any one time. 

At Hill Metal Recycling, we use this reputable payment method whenever we buy scrap from our customers. 

So, if you have scrap metal you’re looking to get rid of, be it from commercial operations or as a result of a domestic DIY project, Hill Metal Recycling is here to help.

Simply visit our premises and our team will be happy to take any ferrous or non-ferrous metals off your hands in exchange for payment. Our prices are always competitive and we make sure all metal is properly and responsibly recycled. Alternatively, we offer a scrap metal collection service so contact our team today to find out more.