Wed | Apr 26, 2017

Discard the scrap-metal trade

Published:Monday | July 13, 2015 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The genuine metal trade is currently non-existent. There is very little, if any, scrap metal to be harvested in Jamaica.

What now exists is a group of unscrupulous thieves who go about stealing machinery equipment and parts thereof. Now there is a demand for copper and aluminium, and these 'eat-a-food' rascals at night remove the copper wires from machines and trucks. Even licence plates are being stolen.

LIME, over a few years, has lost $400 million to cable theft. In the last six months, cable-theft losses have been billed at $80 million.

When equipment or valuable parts are stolen, it results in massive disruption of business, schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, and communication. Production is reduced and individuals are laid off.

It is pointless bragging that the scrap-metal trade yields tens of millions of dollars when loss of production and inconvenience run into millions more. This approach to scrap-metal trading is costing the country too much money.

As mentioned in an earlier article, scrap metal should be harvested every five years (when a supply may exist). It should be collected and exported by the solid waste government agencies. The present controls that were put in place to restart the trade are not working. The street-smart 'eat-a-food' gang have again outsmarted the bureaucrats.

G. MARTIN

gemblocks@yahoo.com