The Real Costs of Scrap Metal Theft

Scrap Metal TheftEarlier this year, Atlanta Public Works and Department of Watershed Management employees were arrested within a week of each other in conjunction with metal theft. These public employees were arrested for stealing city-owned metal, including copper, and selling it to recycling centers.  This is a high-profile example of scrap metal theft but definitely not the most common.

The Department of Energy estimates that scrap metal theft costs businesses, consumers and taxpayers over a billion dollars a year. The problem is prevalent in our local area. Georgia has the unfortunate distinction of being number 5 on this list of the Top 5 States for Metal Theft. The concentration seems to be in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area where about 1,200 of Georgia’s 2,067 metal thefts were reported to insurance companies in 2013, according to this article.

Scrap metal theft is a major issue in the business and impacts the way scrap metal transactions are conducted. Because of laws in place to curb theft, there are certain practices we need to adhere to at Acworth Recycling.

  • We need to keep a database of scrap metal dealers with each name connected to a license number.
  • We need to take a photograph of every piece of scrap metal that comes to our location for redemption.
  • There are certain items we are only able to accept from specific people due to the high number of these items that have been stolen in the past:

Air conditioning unit copper coils

Burned copper wires

Sewer caps

Shopping carts

Burial objects

Vehicles and trailers without a title or title cancellation certificate

In 49 states there are laws to combat metal theft and yet there is little proof that these laws are putting an end to the crime. The crime may, in fact, be on the rise.

According to this 2014 article on metal theft:

A 2013 report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau reveals the rapid pace at which metal theft is growing. From 2010 through the end of 2012, nearly 34,000 insurance claims had been submitted for stolen copper. That was up 36 percent from the three-year period that ended in 2011.

Scrap metal theft is a challenge for many businesses and communities.  We understand the challenge and have sophisticated, automated software and digital photo capabilities in place that make it easy for us to follow the laws and still rapidly move our customers and employees through the purchasing process.

How Salvaged Doors Could Save Lives

Alpharetta GA Fire Station. Captain Mark Allen (far right) and Mitchell Poole

Station 3, Alpharetta Fire Dept.

Atlas Demolition is happy to recycle salvaged materials from demolitions whenever possible. We were pleased to have the opportunity to do a good deed recently.

We were able to donate salvaged doors from a recent demolition for Metro Site Solutions, D&G Development, and Benning Construction.

In preparation for construction of The Atwater, a 26,000 sq ft retail development across the street from Avalon, we are demolishing a 1,500 sq ft single family home and a 12,000 sq ft commercial building and all the asphalt, curb and gutter.

We were approached by Station 3 of the Alpharetta Fire Dept, Captain Mark Allen and Mitchell Poole, on site. They were interested in the steel doors on the commercial building.

They will use the doors at the firehouse to practice breaking through them or “breaching” as they call it. This will allow firefighters to practice breaking into different structures so they can remove people from burning structures.

We had our Atlas Demolition laborers detach the doors, load them into my truck and I hand delivered them to the fire department Monday afternoon.

I am happy the salvaged doors will go to a good cause.

Snowmageddon 2K14 is over!

Wow, what a week.  Glad it is over.  The last “big” snow we had was three years ago.  I remember that one was a lot more fun than 2014’s version.  We closed early on Tuesday, but like everyone else, got stuck in the traffic.  We are open and operating under normal hours, Monday through Friday 8 am – 5 pm and Saturday 8 am – 1 pm.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.  It isn’t like anybody could have stopped in anyway given the traffic jam!

Welcome To The New Site

The new Acworth Recycling site has been launched! Stay tuned for news and information.