Garden Street Iron & Metal files suit after Cincinnati passes local scrap metal anti-theft law.
Garden Street Iron & Metal, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based scrap metal recycling facility, has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati after the city passed a law that aims to crack down on scrap metal theft. Garden State has two locations in Ohio and four facilities in Florida.
The suit claims that the law runs counter to the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce.
Earl Weber, with Garden Street Iron, says one of the biggest concerns with the law, passed Feb. 15, requires anyone bringing nonferrous scrap to the company’s yard to first have a criminal background check and then purchase a license to sell the material to any scrap yard. There is a tiered charge to obtain a license, depending on the frequency a supplier would deliver material to the scrap yard.
The law is slated to go into effect on March 16, 2012.
Weber expresses concern that with the requirements, people bringing scrap to any scrap yard in the city would opt to go to yards outside Cincinnati. He estimates that around 75 percent of his business comes through retail business.
The law specifically targets nonferrous metals. Ferrous metals and aluminum beverage cans (UBCs) are exempt from the city law.
Weber adds that he has made a number of attempts to discuss the issue with various council members and law enforcement, but he says that most were not interested in hearing his side of the story.
There are about 10 traditional scrap yards in Cincinnati.