Metal scrap dealing is an important business, particularly with steel prices skyrocketing and a new emphasis on recycling. St. Louis has a number of legitimate metal scrap dealers that conduct business in a responsible manner, but some City neighborhoods are still plagued by activities apparently associated with some unscrupulous metal scrap dealers.
When thieves steel copper plumbing from homes under construction or metal dock plates from our businesses, they often try to sell these ill-gotten goods as metal scrap, approaching dealers at midnight or other times when no legitimate business should be accepting such property.
To combat this problem, the St. Louis Development Corporation is drafting legislation that will put controls on these activities: limiting hours of operation and requiring a copy of a driver’s license and a photo of the seller for every “off the street” transaction (much like the restrictions that already exist for dealers in other second-hand products).
I spoke about this issue recently at the North Broadway Business Association and the reputable dealers at the meeting — some of whom have already been working with police and City officials to shut down the bad operators volunteered to assist police in identifying and prosecuting metal thieves.
(One other bit of news from that neighborhood: Middendorf Meat, now owned by Performance Food Group, is making plans to expand at or near the company’s current location. Company execs view the north Riverfront’s central location as ideal for the distribution of their products.)