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Opposition joins scrap metal worry

Published:Tuesday | August 28, 2012 | 9:37 AM

Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer

The Opposition spokesman on industry Gregory Mair is cautioning against the wide scale reopening of the scrap metal trade.

He is the latest to express concern about the increase in the theft of metal as the government moves to reopen the trade.

Last month Industry and Commerce Minister, Anthony Hylton indicated that the trade, which was partially shut down last year, would be reopened shortly but with new regulations.

Since then some major companies have complained that they have again become the target of thieves.

There have also been reports of railings, manhole covers and signs going missing.

Mair says the resurgence of scrap metal thieves is a sign that the trade is still a major problem.

He is of the view that Jamaica does not have a viable scrap metal industry as the country only generates a small amount of scrap metal.

He says as such unscrupulous persons have turned to stealing pieces of infrastructure to make up their shipment.

The industry ministry is now carrying out an assessment of scrap metal sites to determine their suitability.

This follows a proposal from the Scrap Metal Federation for the use of regional loading sites as an interim measure to facilitate the immediate resumption of the trade.