Scrap Metal Legislation Hurting Recycling Centers

By: Bergen Baucom
By: Bergen Baucom

Bonifay, FL - A new state law may significantly reduce scrap metal theft by better regulating sales. But the new guidelines also create a new set of challenges for small communities and recycling businesses.

The law regulates what types of metal are legal to sell, how scrap yards can buy the metal, and even how and when they conduct business.

Clay Denton, the owner of Denton's Recycling told us, he was glad the law would cut down on crime, but was also frustrated because parts of the legislation would also slash some of his business.

"A lot of old people come in on tractors, bicycles, four wheelers, to bring stuff in. Can't do none of that no more. The law says you have to be in a vehicle, which makes it harder on us because we don't get the stuff. And, it makes it harder on them to bring it in" Denton told us.

But that wasn't the only change the Denton's had to adopt.
"You have to hold everything for fifteen days before we can sell it, and the prices are based on the stock market. And of course, the stock market fluctuates" said family member and employee, Brian Nichols.

Even with all the new changes to their business, the Denton's told us the customers are the ones who will bear the real brunt of the new law.

"It's a poor economy here, a lot of people are laid off, a lot of people are scrapping."

"If you want to stop thieving" Denton said, "help your own people. If we see a regular person coming in and they ain't got no other way but a bicycle to come in, what are they going to do" he said.

Clay and Shelley's daughter, Glenda Denton told us, for years the family owned and operated shop has stayed open on holidays to try and help people who were low on cash.

"We had about fifteen customers in here trying to make sure their kids had a thanksgiving dinner. We stayed open to make sure this small community had food to eat for Thanksgiving, because it would be sad to see these kids without a Thanksgiving dinner. We were open the day before Christmas too" Glenda said.

As of July 1, the following items were deemed restricted and payment could only be made in the form of a check at the time of purchase. Items include:

Manhole Covers and Storm Grates
Light Poles/Utility Structures
Guard Rails
Street Signs and Fixtures
Funeral Markers and Vases
Historical Markers
Railroad Equipment
Identifiable Government Property
A/C Condenser/ Evaporator Coils (other than window unit)
Propane Forklift Tanks
Beer Kegs
Catalytic Converters
Burnt Wire (copper, aluminum)
FDC valves and Back flow Preventers
Shopping Carts
Water Meters
Commercial Sprinkler Heads

For more information contact Southern Recycling (850) 432- 0977 or the Florida Department of Revenue at:

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Arabrab Location: Bonifay on Jul 7, 2012 at 09:59 PM
    I really don't know how much metal a person could haul on a bicycle and I'd be leary of that to. If you're not out stealing copper wire you shouldn't have a problem with getting a vehicle to carry your stuff over there. We go over there with truck loads of fence wire and old tin, washing machines, refridgerators. We like having a close place to carry our recycle material. As far as I can tell Dentons always takes pictures of everything and document time, date, tag number and who you are. Everything is on the up and up with them.They'll give you a fair market price.If you don't have a truck load to haul it over there then you don't have enough to sell.
  • by Richard Location: Troy on Jul 7, 2012 at 01:19 AM
    I wish I had all the copper stolen from my house.
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