Hart proposes changes to scrap metal program

Charles Warner Editor

September 7, 2013

UNION COUNTY — A Union County councilman wants to increase county revenue and promote local business by changing the way the county disposes of the scrap metal it collects through its recycling program.

During a special meeting of Union County Council earlier this week, councilman Frank Hart presented council with a proposal for changing how it handles the scrap metal it collects. He said the way the county currently handles the disposal of scrap metal gives larger firms from other counties an advantage over local companies.

“Currently, the metal is collected at the recycling centers and is transported to the public works department and stockpiled,” Hart said. “At that point the county basically solicits competitive bids for the metal.

“The requirements to bid are quite strict because the bidder comes on county property and segregates and loads the metal onto their trucks to haul it to their facility,” he said. “Consequently the last two times the county has received bids it has been awarded to a company in Spartanburg County.”

Hart said he wants to end the practice of stockpiling and instead seek bids each quarter of the year from local companies.

“What I propose is that the county quarterly receive bids from our local recycling companies in Union County,” Hart said. “The county would transport the metal directly to the metal recycler who was awarded the bid that quarter. This would eliminate the need to stockpile.”

Hart added that with the county transporting the metal directly to the recyclers the local firms would not have to come on county property. He said this would mean less stringent bidding requirements which would make it easier for local companies to successfully bid for and win the quarterly contracts.

In addition, Hart said he believes this would increase the revenue the county receives from the sale of the scrap metal.

“By selling the product on a weekly basis we will always be at the market average for the year,” Hart said. “When you stockpile you may end up selling when the price is low. Selling on a weekly basis is in effect a method of dollar cost averaging which generally over the long-term translates into higher revenue.”

To further ensure the county gets the maximum possible revenue from the sale of the scrap metal, Hart’s proposal includes a requirement that the successful bidder must always pay the higher of their minimum bid price or the daily rate they are paying people who come to their facility.

Hart requested that his fellow council members review his proposal and take it up at a later date.

Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at cwarner@civitasmedia.com.