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On November 1, 2020 provisions of the Protecting Alberta Industry from Theft Act came into force to make it more difficult for criminals to sell stolen metal for scrap.
As a result, all scrap metal dealers and recyclers must now:
- report transactions involving certain common forms of metal – including high-theft items like copper wire and catalytic converters – to law enforcement through a central database
- make payments for these transactions only with traceable forms of currency (cash not allowed)
Commonly stolen metals
The Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Regulation lists these items as examples:
- copper cables and wires, including power lines, telecommunications cables and cable reels
- metal traffic control lights, signals and signs
- street lighting poles, wiring and fixtures
- sewer grates and manhole covers
- metal guard rails and handrails
- metal grave markers, funeral vases, memorial plaques and monuments
- catalytic converters
- lead acid batteries
How to meet the requirements
When you – as a dealer or recycler purchase or receive scrap metal – you must follow these steps:
Step 1. Identification
You can complete a transaction only with a seller who is 18 years or older.
The seller must have valid government-issued ID: an original piece of identification with the seller’s picture that has been issued by a government body.
The seller’s ID must be original (not a copy) and have a:
- date of birth
- unique ID number
Step 2. Payment
You can pay the seller only with traceable currency – cash payments are not allowed. This means your payment must be made through a financial institution, such as with a cheque or an e-transfer.
Step 3. Record
You must enter the below information in the central database within 24 hours of the transaction:
- legal name
- name of the business (if applicable)
- unique ID number on the seller’s ID
- date and time the metal was acquired
- description of the metal
- weight of the metal
- vehicle used to deliver the metal:
- licence plate number
You are required to keep the above information for whichever is longer:
- at least 2 years from the time of sale
- as long as described in the regulation
Law enforcement can investigate a scrap metal dealer or recycler to determine if they are complying with the new requirements.
People and businesses found to be dealing in stolen scrap metal will face stiffer consequences than before:
- fines for individuals increase to:
- $10,000 or one year in jail, or both for the first offence (up from $5,000)
- $25,000 or one year in jail, or both for subsequent offences (up from $15,000)
- fines for corporations increase to:
- $50,000 for the first offence (up from $15,000)
- $200,000 for subsequent offences (up from $50,000)
Law enforcement can request holds on scrap metal that is suspected of being stolen.
Report stolen metal
Members of the public should contact their local police to report scrap metal theft.
Scrap metal dealers and recyclers should contact the scrap metal hotline.