JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Piles of copper and aluminum wire were once easy targets for thieves.
Now they are regulated by the city of Jacksonville. But local businesses said those regulations cost them.
"The toughest steps were actually purchasing thousands of dollars of new equipment," said Berman Brother Incorporated owner Eric Berman.
He said the 2011 ordinance has had a real impact on his business.
Scrappers have to prove to Berman and other companies that the metal they are selling is not stolen.
Berman had to buy new computers and software to keep track of what and who came into his business.
The ordinance also affected honest people.
"There are a lot of metals that some customers had to leave alone because they didn't or couldn't perhaps get proof of ownership,” said Berman.
Action News asked the city for a copy of the ordinance to see exactly what they meant by proof of ownership. The law says it’s a signed letter from a company proving they are an authorized agent to dispose of company property.
"They have to have a bill of sale from a contractor, for example, or the owner of the item," said Berman.
Council members met recently to discuss how the ordinance has affected local recycling companies, and to see if any changes need to be made.
Berman said he saw business drop slightly because of this, but one thing that did improve, the relationship between recycling companies and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
"Anything that we can do to help them prevent getting into that type of situation is going to help both parties," said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesman Shannon Hartley.
Berman said eventually his business got back to normal after more people became familiar with the ordinance.
Here is a list of the metals that require proof of purchase:
A manhole cover
An electric light pole or other utility structure
A guard rail
A street sign or traffic sign or signal
Copper or aluminum service wire
A funeral marker or vase
A historical marker
A metal item with government initials or a logo
A copper or aluminum condensing coil
An aluminum or stainless steel bottle that holds propane
Steel beer kegs
A catalytic converter