Chatham-Kent to investigate possible scrap metal bylaw

In an effort to stop the selling of copper and other metals that are stolen, Chatham-Kent administration will prepare a report looking at the need for a bylaw relating to the buying and selling of scrap metals in the municipality.

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In an effort to curb the theft of copper and other metals, Chatham-Kent staff are preparing a report looking at a bylaw to regulate the buying and selling of scrap metals in the municipality.

Copper and other metals are commonly stolen from various sources in the community, causing significant safety risks and costs. The metals are then sometimes sold to support people’s addictions.

That’s why Chatham-Kent Coun. Marjorie Crew wanted to look at the pros and cons of the proposed bylaw. Crew hopes the report regarding the need for a bylaw will at least put a dent in the illegal scrap metal trade.

Staff will come back with a report on a proposed bylaw by September.

Crew, who has a background in community advocacy, knows that a scrap metal bylaw by itself won’t solve all of the problems with metal theft and addiction in the community, but said it’s a good tool to have to at least enforce and curb the problem.

“It’s a multifaceted thing,” Crew said. “You want to work on the enforcement, you work on the prevention and you work on the all the other stuff in the middle. It’s a piece to help solve the issues – it’s a tool. You have to have have tools in your toolbox to effectively make the changes you need.”

She said it will also possibly make metal less desirable to steal.

“That might help if it’s a little more difficult to sell stolen metal,” Crew said.

The report will include other municipal requirements, the cost for a licence, and a review of existing bylaws involving scrapyards and precious metals, as well as get stakeholder input on a proposed bylaw.