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Options widen for printing plate recycling

Thursday, 20 April 2006
By Print 21 Online Article

As metal prices soar through the roof due to a worldwide shortage of aluminium, printers are receiving more than double the previous scrap metal price for their used printing plates, with value shooting up as high as $2.65 per kilo.

There are hundreds of scrap metal merchants around Australia, but concerns have surfaced in the industry relating to the reputability of the dealers. Sims Metal are emphasised as a trustworthy source of metal recycling, responsible for buying, processing and suppling scrap metal across the world with offices in all of Australia’s major states.

Mathew Holmes, non-ferrous trading manager for Sims Metal in Australia, confirms his company is collecting scrap metal from a wide variety of different providers, stretching from your typical ‘mum n’ dad’ type operations to some of the larger operators in the Australian printing industry.

“We certainly encourage it, and Sims Metal wants as much business as possible from print providers across Australia,” says Holmes. “Some of the smaller operators are a little intimidated by the size of Sims Metal, but we want to confirm we are eager to accommodate businesses of all sizes.”

Holmes warns that printers need to be wary of dodgy dealings. He says any business selling its used scrap metal should insist on an accurate weight ticket from a registered measuring device, claiming that hand-written weights can often not be worth the paper they are written on.

“Printers have to know who they are dealing with,” says Holmes. “Dodgy practices have existed in the industry, but it’s something we’re doing as much as possible to try and clean up.”

“People come to us because we are a public company, our operations are transparent and they can be confident we will pay for the services.”

Holmes confirms $2.65 per kilo is a good indication of the prices currently being dished out for scrap aluminium, but says it can rise even higher than that depending on the volume and cost of transport.

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