THE EDITOR: The government-instituted ban on the export of scrap iron seems to be a short-term and inadequate solution to the destructive and extensive theft of scrap metal, copper, and even brand new steel being sold as scrap.
There is no doubt that the problem is quite significant considering the recent theft of a church bell to be sold as scrap metal. Even as a victim myself of property vandalism for the purpose of electrical cable theft, I believe there is an alternative way forward that remains profitable if regulated.
The industry should remain in operation as it is a productive and profitable use of salvageable scrap metal that is then recycled and repurposed. It is a legitimate form of income for many people. My suggestion is a government-regulated steel/metal recycling industry where estates are set up in different areas or zones of the country.
Operators of the estates must rent from the State, and the operation should be regulated and secured by the State, where manned secure entry points ensure incoming material is inspected, origin and source determined, digital photographs of merchandise taken, and driver and vehicle identification recorded.
In this way, any reported theft for the purpose of resale can be identified and traced to drivers and registered vehicles. To put a halt to this productive use of scrap metal that can be recycled/repurposed is a shame when the potential for something greater, cleaner and more profitable exists. Hopefully we can salvage it.