Environmental, Energy, and Water Law Blog
RECYCLING: HOUSE BILL 2119 (REVISED ARKANSAS SCRAP THEFT LAW BECOMES EFFECTIVE)
Author: Walter G. Wright
As you may recall from prior blog postings, the Arkansas General Assembly made changes to a key law affecting recycling in the last Arkansas General Assembly. House Bill 2119, the new law, was a result of a compromise between the concern of scrap metal recyclers and those of law enforcement officials addressing cooper theft. The revised scrap theft law went into effect on July 26, 2011.
House Bill 2119 added a new section to the Arkansas Code titled "Theft by Receiving Scrap Metal". This section makes it a crime to receive, retain, or dispose of scrap metal owned by another person if you know the scrap metal was stolen. "Receiving" scrap metal means taking possession, control, title, or lending on the security of scrap metal. If the value of the stolen scrap metal is more than $1,000.00, then receiving is a felony, while receiving amounts of scrap metal worth less than $1,000.00 is a misdemeanor.
Under the old law, Arkansas law requiring scrap metal dealers to keep records, dealers were required to keep an "accurate and legible record" of each scrap metal purchase. This law is still in place, and requires that dealers keep a record of each scrap metal purchase transaction with a variety of information addressed in the statute. In addition, all scrap metal recyclers must file a daily electronic record of scrap metal purchases made for that day.
The daily electronic record system remains in place. However, a key change is the additional information must be recorded. The new law states that the scrap metal recycler cannot buy scrap unless written documentation is provided to seller as the owner of the metal or is a person authorized by the owner to sell the metal on behalf of the owners. This documentation must include:
1. the name of the entity or individual from whom the seller acquired the scrap metal
2. the date the seller acquired the scrap metal
3. the physical address from where the seller acquired the scrap metal
4. a certification from the seller that he or she is the owner of the scrap metal OR that they are the:
employer, agent, licensed contractor, licensed HVACR, plumber, electrician authorized to sell for the owner OR
are otherwise authorized to sell the scrap metal on behalf of the owner
5. a certification from the seller that he or she has not pleaded guilty or no contest to or been found guilty of theft, burglary, or vandalism involving scrap metal.
The law says that if the seller does not provide written documentation that satisfies the requirements listed above, the scrap metal recycler cannot purchase the metal. However, House Bill 2119 did remove an entire section of the Arkansas Code which restricted transactions involving various materials such as electrical utility, telephone, cable, or other public utility, traffic control signs, etc. These items can now be purchased as long as they follow all of the requirements detailed above.
A copy of House Bill 2119 can be downloaded below.