Presidents Report: January 2014

Dear fellow Georgia Recyclers Association members,

Happy New Year!! I hope that you and your family enjoyed a great holiday season. We wanted to kick the year off with a report from the GRA to update you as to the activities that have been taking place and what our plans are for 2014.

2013 was a great year for the association, and we are most pleased with the direction that our organization is heading. We are also very pleased with our increased visibility amongst the legislators and our fellow stakeholders on the issue of metal theft and other issues of relevance to our industry.

We are pleased that The Hudson Group will continue to represent us at the Capitol. There is a report from Brian Hudson included in this email that details their activities and a preview for the upcoming session. While they do a tremendous job for us professionally, it remains critical for all of our members to remain engaged with their elected officials. Please continue to reach out to your elected officials about important issues as alerts are issued. It has been stated over and over that "all politics is local," and it is important that the legislators hear from you on issues of importance to the scrap recycling industry in Georgia.

You will also see a report from Chip Koplin in this email about the incredible Law Enforcement Training that the GRA sponsored in the fall. This also demonstrated to law enforcement, legislators and other stakeholders that the GRA is committed to the reduction of metal theft in Georgia. Our proactive role on this issue has been widely praised around the state and continues to build on our positive working relationship with these other parties.

It was great seeing so many of you at our annual meeting in November. You will recall my comments on the importance of your continued membership, support and involvement in the GRA. Protecting our industry from bad legislation and regulation is a permanent task - even in years that are quiet. It is important to note - the fact that it is "quiet" means that our voice is being heard and that our hard work is paying off.

I urge you to remain active in the GRA, and continue to help us recruit new members into the association, and encourage all members to renew their membership. If alerts come from us about the need to contact your legislators or to travel to Atlanta - please do so immediately. We continue to recruit new associate members of the GRA from the vendors, suppliers and service providers that we encounter in our business. Your assistance in helping us to retain members as well as recruiting new members is critical to our continued success.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or other members of our board and professional team with any questions, concerns or suggestions. Their contact information is listed in this email for your reference. Our officers and board have been tasked with several projects to strengthen the organization, so please be willing to help when called upon to do so.

Thanks again for your commitment to the GRA. Our continued success depends on you!


Rick Caldwell
GRA President

Georgia Recyclers Association
hosts Metal Theft Training for
Georgia Law Enforcement

The Georgia Recyclers Association organized and hosted a very successful Metal Theft Training for Georgia Law Enforcement on October 29th at the Georgia Electrical Cooperative Training Center in Monroe County near Forsyth. Over 70 members of law enforcement from across Georgia and 20 other attendees, including members of the Georgia General Assembly, the media and critical stakeholders participated in the 4 hour training session and lunch. Attendees heard from several presenters from across the state with the overall message from Sheriffs, Atlanta Police, and the Attorney General's office that the current law was working and that crime was down across the state and that it couldn't have been accomplished without the help and support of the recyclers. The training was also promoted by the Georgia Sheriff's Association and Georgia Chiefs of Police Association.

Frank Goulding, Vice President of Marketing of Newell Recycling in East Point served as the session moderator. After Goulding's opening remarks, the group was welcomed by the host of the event, Tom Parker, Vice President of External Affairs of Georgia Transmission Corporation. Georgia Transmission along with their sister companies, Oglethorpe Power and Georgia EMC were kind enough to allow the GRA to use their beautiful training center for the event. Parker spoke briefly on the rural electrical cooperatives commitment to the reduction of metal theft for many years in Georgia. Read more ....

Chip Koplin
Schnitzer Steel Industries, Macon
GRA Immediate Past President


President, Rick Caldwell
Schnitzer Southeast, Atlanta

Treasurer/Secretary, Linda Lott
Newell Recycling

Vice-President, Michael Fairman
Glynn Iron & Steel, Brunswick

Immediate Past President, I Chip Koplin
Schnitzer Southeast, Macon

Board of Directors:

Madison Elliott
Southern Metals Recycling

Mel Folse
Blaze Recycling & Metals

Gary Kamp
Metro Alloys

Nick Cantrell
Waycross Recycling

Rick Gates
Fortune Metals

Dan Sterling
Direct Metals

Executive Director:

Lenora Kopkin (770) 381-9616

Governmental Affairs Consultant:

Brian Hudson, The Hudson Group

As you are aware, there has been a great deal of legislative activity in Georgia recently on the subject of metals theft.

The substantial expense involved with this has been paid by the New Southern Chapter of ISRI. Since this has become a large recurring expense, the ISRI chapter is no longer able to fund our legislative efforts at the same level. Due to the need for funds to continue our important work, several years ago, decision was made to re-establish a state recycling association.

We would like for you to become a member of this important organization. We have spent a considerable amount of resources educating the legislators, law enforcement and other stakeholders that our industry is not to blame for the metal theft problem.

We continue to educate all involved that the Georgia recycling industry is a major stakeholder in the theft issue - but that we can HELP all involved on the subject of metal theft.

We are aware that many of you are currently involved in your respective areas of Georgia - working with law enforcement, prosecutors, legislators and others to communicate and address the issue of metal theft. We are grateful for this help and hope that it will continue. We do feel that it is critical that we, as a unified industry, become better organized to address these issues and to better educate ourselves and others in Georgia about metal theft and other important issues to our industry.

Continue Reading...
Auto-theft Recovery Database Bill Signed [read]