News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2012
Media Contact:
Marta Martinez-Aleman

305-636-2331

Vice Chairwoman Edmonson hosts first meeting of Miami-Dade Scrap Metal and Copper Wire Theft Task Force


Vice Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson hosted the first meeting of the task force charged with combating the rise of scrap metal and copper wire theft on April 27, 2011 at the Joseph Caleb Center, 5400 N.W. 22 Avenue, in Miami.  At the meeting, representatives of government, law enforcement and the industry chose Miami-Dade County Police Lt. Denise Bernhard as chairperson and Denise M. Carreño from Bob’s Recycle as vice chairperson of the Miami-Dade County Scrap Metal and Copper Wire Theft Task Force.  The State Legislature has allowed Miami-Dade County to amend its scrap metal ordinance through July 1, 2013 in order to allow the task force to complete its work.

The task force, created by legislation sponsored by Vice Chairwoman Edmonson, will formulate recommendations to the Miami-Dade County Commission on the enforcement of ordinances regulating junk dealers and scrap metal processors. In January, Vice Chairwoman Edmonson spoke before the State Senate Community Affairs Committee in support of a bill which creates additional restrictions on regulated metal transactions, making it more difficult for secondary metals recyclers to purchase regulated metals, including copper, which may have been obtained illegally.  In March, the State Legislature adopted higher penalties for secondary metal recyclers who buy stolen copper and other metals without proper documentation.  It preempts new but grandfathers existing ordinances.

“I am pleased that we have begun the task of thoroughly examining our present ordinance and that we have representation from industry and government alike,” Vice Chairwoman Edmonson said.  “We want to create an ordinance which does not impede scrap metal dealers from doing legitimate business; we want to make it harder for thieves to sell stolen metals.  Scrap metal and copper wiring theft is an epidemic in Miami-Dade County which is not only criminal in nature but an issue which has severe consequences. In addition to the increasing cost and inconvenience to replace copper wire stolen from light poles, appliances and air-conditioning units, it creates a security threat to our residents, particularly our most vulnerable ones, our children and seniors.”