County Executive Adam Bello Vetoes Catalytic Converter Legislation

October 14th, 2021

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The law is ill conceived, will not be effective and harms local businesses.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello today vetoed a bill that would impose job-killing burdens on local businesses that accept used catalytic converters for recycling. The Monroe County Legislature passed the bill at its September 14, 2021 meeting.

The stated purpose of the law is to discourage the theft of catalytic converters from vehicles by requiring scrap metal recyclers to maintain records of the purchase of used converters for three years and prohibiting recyclers from taking possession of used catalytic converters from anyone other than certain identified sellers.

“I understand the goal of the law, the issue I have is that it doesn’t solve the problem and it’s a job killer for Monroe County recycling businesses,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “Sellers of stolen catalytic converters can easily bypass the law by selling to scrapyards in other counties. But this law will negatively impact the legitimate sale of mixed automotive scrap and hurt recyclers doing business in Monroe County.”

Legitimate recyclers would see a decrease in business under this law. For example, car repair shops that regularly replace catalytic converters generally sell their mixed automotive metals — which often include used converters — to scrap collectors. Rather than sort out converters from other metals, scrap collectors would take all of their mixed metal scrap to recyclers in other counties where recyclers do not have to abide by the obstacles to legitimate business presented by this law.

During the September 14 Legislature meeting, a representative of local scrap metal recyclers reported that he attempted to engage in a discussion with the bill’s sponsor, Legislator Paul Dondorfer (R - 9th District), but that the Legislator declined to discuss the measure. Local metal recyclers testified at the public hearing on the Local Law about their concerns with the loss of business — and ultimately jobs.

Current state law already requires scrap metal recyclers to maintain record of sales and make those records available to law enforcement.

Added Bello: “I am willing to support local or statewide efforts to strengthen laws to deter criminal activity and ensure law enforcement has the resources necessary to address catalytic converter theft. I am not willing to support an ill-considered measure that negatively impacts Monroe County businesses.”