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The industry has come of age

In an exclusive story this week, MRW revealed that legislation to replace the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 is underway and could be passed by the end of the year. Crucially, representatives from the trade have been included in top-level discussions and the signs are that their views have been listened to.

A hundred years to the day since MRW was launched as Waste Trade World, it is a particularly fitting story.

Back in August 1012, when Waste Trade World was just three months old, a letter to the editor implored every metal dealer to go to his MP and see that the Metal Dealers Bill was made more moderate. Protestations had limited effect: an editorial in 1916 said the act “leads nowhere and must be amended”.

By 1912 the scrap trade and other elements of the salvage, reclamation and what would now be called recycling trades were already an important industry. Through the war the scrap trade was vital. Today recycling is a mature, hi-tech industry supporting jobs and economic growth as well as environmental sustainability.

It is right that government recognises this important contribution and acknowledged the informed views of this sector, which has very much come of age. The industry will need to maintain a strong, unified voice if populist amendments to the new legislation are to be avoided. In our centenary year, MRW will continue to champion these important interests.

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