A new law that went into effect on July 1 means new rules and regulations for metal recyclers. The state legislature passed the bill earlier this year.
It requires metal recyclers to maintain more records of purchases, including photographs or digital images of the property, a signed statement from the person selling the metal saying they are the rightful owner, and a scanned copy of valid personal identification of the seller.
Metal recyclers also now can only pay out with checks or electronic fund transfers, not by cash.
The law requires all recyclers to register with the sheriff's office of each county. By doing that, the business states that they will follow all provisions in the bill.
From copper wire to air conditioning coils, Schnitzer Steel deals in it all.
"We buy papers, metals and glass things like that from the general public and process them to be remelted," said Chip Koplin, Government and Public Affairs Manager.
Right now it goes for about $3 a pound, but the price of copper peaked even higher.
Macon police says that's led to an increase in thefts. "The person stealing the copper may get a hundred dollars for it, but you've caused $10,000 worth of damage to the home," said MPD Investigator John Horne.
"We have to take a photograph of the person that's selling the scrap. We have to take a photograph of the scrap itself on the scale and there's also very intense restriction on the purchase of aluminum copper, air conditioning coils, burnt copper wires and cemetery brass," said Koplin.
Koplin, who's the president of the Georgia Recyclers Association worked on the bill as it was drafted. He says he sees many benefits, but it's not without problems.
"We were certainly OK with the registration of recyclers to sheriff's. We were OK with the limitation on burned copper and coils, but we feel the ban on cash was going a little bit too far as far a government intervention.
As people continue to bring in scrap metal, Koplin and Macon police say they think the new law will help catch criminals.