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Scrap Metal Laws and Legislation UK

Just as with every industry in the country, the scrap metal recycling industry abides by stringent legislation put in place to regulate it and to curtail rogue traders. At Hill Metal Recycling, we understand the importance of this and we work to uphold it through responsible policies and an overall professional approach to our business. In this month’s article, we’ll be highlighting how the legislation has affected the scrap metal trade.

Bread4Scrap and a Cashless System

As the new legislation came in, it moved the industry to cashless payments in order to tackle the risk of metal theft in the country. Paying for goods in cash stops a paper trail from forming that the police can use to investigate suspicious activity, so all traders are required to make payments either electronically or by cheque.

One way we aim to ensure complete convenience for our customers here at Hill Metal Recycling is to use the Bread4Scrap scheme by Mastercard. The scheme involves the issuing of prepaid cards to suppliers as a form of payment, once all formal identification has been provided. It is an efficient and secure form of payment that adheres to all legislation and has proven popular at our recycling centre.

Licensed Scrap Metal Dealers

Since the new legislation came into place in 2013, all scrap metal dealers require a licence in order to trade. Those registered under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 or Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 will also need to reapply for a new licence, the authorisation of which will be left to the local authority. New dealers will also need to apply for a licence. It follows that anyone trading scrap metal to an unlicensed dealer will be breaking the law.

Identification Needed to Trade Scrap

The law dictates that there is only one way you can sell your scrap metal, and that is by providing ID when trading scrap metal. Building on the other two points in this article already made, identification provision ensures a trail is kept should an investigation be launched. It also makes sure that dealers can check the credentials of a supplier before buying metal, declining to trade if they are red flagged. Ultimately, this should stamp out the problem of stolen scrap metal.


Any firms that do not abide by the new laws in these regards will face closure. Councils have been given the authority to shut down any firms that do not work within the legal parameters, so be sure to do so to avoid closure, fines or even imprisonment.

At Hill Metal Recycling we pride ourselves on the fact that we are the leading recycler of ferrous and non-ferrous metals throughout Harlow, Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas. We are affiliated with the DVLA and Environment Agency bodies and are widely qualified and experienced to appropriately handle and dispose of all types of scrap metal. We offer a 24 hour scrap collection service, including cars, for commercial and some domestic needs. To discuss the best prices you can fetch for your scrap metals, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our friendly team today!