A summary of scrap legislation.


It's our job to know the law so that you don't have to worry about it.

The law on scrap collection & recycling

Here is everything you need to know about getting rid of scrap legally

The current state of affairs

It is now required, by law, that all scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators across England and Wales must apply for a license from their local council and keep records on those they trade with.

Identify yourself

If you wish to have your scrap metal collected from your property, both domestic or commercial, the collector will need to see your identification even if you are giving away your metal for free.

Licensed to collect

There will be two types licences available, a site licence and a collectors licence. Mobile scrap metal collectors now have to apply to each local authority for a licence which lasts for three years.

That's it folks; consider yourself legislated.

We comply with all of this legislation at all times, no exceptions.

If you want to know more you can read the official legislation below, check out our blog
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Motor salvage operators

{2.5} Motor salvage operators will need to hold a scrap metal dealers licence which replaces the need to separately register with the local council. The Act repeals Part 1 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 which is the requirement to register as a vehicle salvage operator.

Agent, broker or trader

{2.6} A person that buys or sells scrap metal on paper without actually operating a scrap metal site carries on business as a scrap metal dealer and will require a licence. This person will carry out their business as a scrap metal dealer from premises and will need to hold a site licence as a site is any premises used in the course of carrying on business as a scrap metal dealer (whether or not metal is kept there) (section 22 (9)).

Skip Hire Company

{2.7} Skip hire companies may need a scrap metal dealers licence. It will be a question of fact for a court to decide whether, under all the circumstances, the buying or selling of scrap metal forms the whole or part of the persons business, or alternatively, whether the buying or selling of scrap metal forms such a minimal part of their overall business dealings that the definition of scrap metal dealer in the Act is not made out.

{2.8} There are many factors a court may consider in reaching its judgment such as the proportion of the business related to scrap metal in terms of value or volume. If a skip hire company places skips only at businesses/demolition sites to process and sell on the scrap metal this may be considered to be the whole or part of their business and therefore require a licence. However, a company that only rents skips to households where recoverable scrap metal forms a minor part of the skip contents and the companys business that they may not require a licence.

Tradespersons

{2.9} Tradespersons will not require a scrap metal dealers licence if buying or selling scrap metal is an incidental function of their business (eg being a plumber or electrician). It will be a question of fact for a court to decide whether, under all the circumstances, the buying or selling of scrap metal forms the whole or part of the persons business, or alternatively, whether the buying or selling of scrap metal forms such a minimal part of their overall business dealings that the definition of scrap metal dealer in the Act is not made out.

Civic amenity sites

{2.10} Civic Amenity sites, run by councils or contracted out to others, will not require a licence. Vehicle collection companies.

{2.11} If a scrap metal dealer (who is a motor salvage operator) holds a site licence and employs or sub-contracts a company to pick up cars on the company's behalf in the course of the business from that site we do not consider that they will need individual mobile collectors licences as this is not regularly engaging in collecting waste materials and old, broken, worn out or defaced articles by means of visits from door to door but pre-arranged appointments. If the vehicle is to be scrapped, the collection company will be committing an offence if they buy the vehicle for cash and do not verify the name and address of the supplier on behalf of the site licence holder. The scrap metal dealer will be responsible for ensuring that the vehicle collection company complies with these requirements.