Please Note: Wisconsin includes Plastic Bulk Merchandise Containers of bottled beverages in the definition of Proprietary Articles and provisions governing such.
Wis. Stat. Ch. 285, Sec. 59; Section 285.59: Air Pollution - Recovery of Ozone-Depleting Refrigerants, includes rules for the salvaging and dismantling of mechanical vapor compression refrigeration equipment that are not included in the summary below.
"Scrap Metal" means a Metal Article; metal removed from or obtained by cutting, demolishing, or disassembling a building, structure, or manufactured item; or other metal that is no longer used for its original intended purpose and that can be processed for reuse in a mill, foundry, or other manufacturing facility.
"Ferrous Scrap" means Scrap Metal, other than metal meeting another definition, consisting primarily of iron or steel, including large manufactured articles that may contain other substances to be removed and sorted during normal operations of Scrap Metal Dealers.
"Nonferrous Scrap" means Scrap Metal consisting primarily of metal other than iron or steel, but does not include any of the following:
"Metal Article" means a manufactured item that consists of metal, is usable for its original intended purpose without processing, repair, or alteration, and is offered for sale for the value of the metal it contains, except that "Metal Article" does not include antique or collectible articles, including jewelry, coins, silverware, and watches.
"Proprietary Article" means any of the following:
"Scrap Dealer", or Dealer as used in this summary, means a Scrap Plastic Dealer or Scrap Metal Dealer.
"Commercial Enterprise" means a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, business operated by an individual, association, state agency, political subdivision, or other government or business entity, including a Dealer.
"Commercial Account" means a Commercial Enterprise with which a Dealer maintains an ongoing and documented business relationship.
A purchase of scrap other than Nonferrous Scrap, Metal Articles, or Proprietary articles by a scrap metal dealer is exempt from all but the No Purchase from Minors provision.
Unless the Seller is a Commercial Account, a Dealer must record the following for purchases of Nonferrous Scrap, Metal Articles, or Proprietary Articles:
For Proprietary Articles, either:
For purchases of Nonferrous Scrap, Metal Articles, or Proprietary Articles from a Commercial Account, a Dealer must record the following:
A Dealer must retain records for at least 2 years following a transaction; a Commercial Account's name, address, telephone number, and contact must be retained for 2 years after the most recent transaction with the Commercial Account. A Dealer may only disclose personally identifiable information as required by the Inspection or Reporting provisions or to a successor in interest to the Dealer. A law enforcement officer receiving information from a record or report may only disclose it to another law enforcement officer or agency.
A Dealer shall make records available to a law enforcement officer who presents the agent's credentials at the Dealer's place of business during normal business hours.
For a Proprietary Article purchased without documentation establishing lawful possession, a Dealer must report within 1 business day to a local law enforcement department:
A local law enforcement officer may request that all Dealers in the jurisdiction furnish reports of all purchases of Nonferrous Scrap, Metal Articles, and Proprietary Articles within 1 business day following the purchase with the following information:
A Dealer may not purchase Scrap Metal from any person who is not over the age of 18.
A Dealer who knowingly violates the law is subject to the following, with each day constituting a separate violation:
Under Theft (Section 943.20), "value" means the market value at the time of the theft or the cost to the victim of replacing the property within a reasonable time after the theft, whichever is less. If the property stolen is Scrap Metal or a Plastic Bulk Merchandise Container, "value" also includes any costs that would be incurred in repairing or replacing any property damaged in the theft or removal of the scrap metal or plastic bulk merchandise container.
Under Section 895.09, any owner of Nonferrous Scrap, a Metal Article, or a Proprietary Article, who incurs injury or loss as a result of a violation of the scrap metal law (Section 134.405) or theft (Section 943.20) may bring a civil action against the person who committed the violation. The person who incurs the loss has the burden of proving by the preponderance of evidence that a violation of Section 134.405 or Section 943.20 occurred. If the action prevails, the court shall grant all of the following:
A county, town, city, or village may enact an ordinance governing the sale or purchase of Scrap Metal or Bulk Plastic Merchandise Containers if the ordinance is not more stringent than the state law, except a 1st class city may enact a more stringent ordinance. Any city, village, town, or county may require by ordinance that Dealers submit the reports provided for in the Reporting provision in an electronic format to a law enforcement officer.
©2016. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.
This summary of State Metals Theft Laws is being viewed on this website under license and is owned and copyrighted by Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. ("ISRI"),1615 L Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036.