How do you choose a scrap metal merchant?
So, how do you choose a scrap metal merchant? It’s a tricky business so we have taken the liberty of providing some key advice below, it is by no means an exhaustive list but covers some key areas that would need the most consideration:
Arguably this is the most important question – is your scrap metal merchant fully compliant? Do they hold an in date Scrap Metal Dealers License? Check this directly with their local council. Do they hold an appropriate Environmental Permit? Again check this – a T9 exemption is not the same as an environmental permit – check the waste codes that your waste should be transported under and then check whether the merchants you are considering are able to collect those materials. Do they hold a Waste Carriers License? It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure compliance.
This is essential, how experienced is your merchant? Are they a specialist non ferrous or ferrous merchant or do they predominantly buy anything? Do they have proven history? If you are a manufacturer what experience do they have in this sector. If you are an infrastructure organisation again what experience can they bring to the table?
What value has the merchant brought to other similar customers? Can they evidence this? What references are available?
What range of containers are on offer? Are they high quality? Do they leak? The scrap metal bins delivered to your site are a direct reflection on both the company that provide them and the company that receive them.
When did you last weight check your materials? Maybe you are getting fantastic prices and feel that you don’t need to – you really do! Our advice would always be to check your weights regularly. It is very easy to give a fantastic price and then lie about exactly what weight of material is in the skip.
Are you producing skips of mixed metal, for example mixed grade aluminium or a mix of stainless steel 304 or 316? Does the merchant offer material segregation? If they do, how do they segregate? What technology do they use that guarantees you are being paid for the full value of your scrap metal?
What paperwork is provided and how frequently is it provided? Annual Waste Transfer Notes are easily abused, is a Waste Transfer Note provided for every single collection? Are they ISO9001 Accredited? What reports can they offer you?
Health & Safety
How safe is the merchant? What evidence can prove their compliance and dedication to all Health and Safety matters? What method statements do they use for activities on your site, i.e. skip loading and unloading? Are they OHSAS18001 accredited? Are they FORS Accredited?
What environmental policies are in place? Do they have ISO14001? How green is their fleet? What practices are in place to ensure their fleet runs as neutrally as possible?
If you jumped straight to this then all of the above are more important!