"Some big merchants are already saying they have a stricter approach to contaminated
," a scrap buyer said, adding that this new
approach is being solely driven by China’s renewed
focus on existing waste import legislation.
Scrap dealer Sims Metal Management has sent a letter to its
suppliers, seen by Metal Bulletin, informing of changes to the
allowable grading of motors and electrical cabling that it is
prepared to buy.
The company will no longer accept deliveries of motors that
contain household electrical waste, transformers, power supply
units, fridge compressors, welding boxes, circuit boards or
Neither will it accept cable that contains any plugs, circuit
boards or excessive attachments.
"A strict approach will need to be taken to any
contaminated/pluggy cable that is delivered," Sims wrote to its
suppliers. "These directions have come directly from end-users
so, while it may well cause inconvenience, regretfully we are
all in the same position."
A scrap dealer told Metal Bulletin that Operation Green Fence
has already had a huge effect on scrap flows, saying that more
than 20 containers of cable were recently rejected at port for
"There is a lot of confusion
. There are a lot of
people talking but only a few people understanding," he said.
"People are becoming nervous of sending material to China.
It’s a very good way of stopping scrap going to China
if that was their intention," he added.
The scrap dealer said that one of his own shipments had been
rejected while it was still on the water, based on photographs
of the material.
"We will have to get the CCIC [China Certification &
Inspection Group] to check the material before shipping.
It’s very costly to bring it back, and
we’re hearing a lot of similar stories," he said.
But the scrap buyer said that Operation Green fence was simply
China bringing itself more into line with other markets, and
that it is not excessive legislating on its part.
"China is trying to produce quality metal, and is fed up with
inferior grades of scrap from merchants. Stuff that was going
to China before was often because it had already been refused
from somewhere else," the buyer said.
"People had gotten a bit lazy with good Chinese prices [for
inferior scrap], but that door is starting to close," he added.
"Scrap sorting will have to get better, and people will have to
be a lot more careful about the quality of material they send