$1.8 Billion–annual economic impact in Kentucky.
River Metals GM Neal Coudarlot reviews benchmarks with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
River Metals GM Neal Coudarlot reviews benchmarks with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

Neal Coudarlot of Louisville's River Metals Recycling reviews advanced manufacturing benchmarks and advantages with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer pictured on the left. In Fischer's first term Louisville took a step ahead.

Following smart moves in states like Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, Louisville revised local ordinances to get old cars out of yards, vacant lots and roadsides for recycling. The motivation came from law enforcement, a great step in car theft prevention.

Here's how it works. If a title is lost on a vehicle 10 model years old, or older, citizens can recycle the car, provided they sign forms saying that the vehicle is theirs to sell. In the event an older car is stolen, law enforcement not only has the signed form but extensive evidence including a drivers license copy, the car tag of the seller, pictures of the car or truck and other information that can be used as evidence.

Louisville Police deserves great credit for leading this change in partnership with recycling companies and leaders. The benefit to car dealers, financial institutions and the whole of the Louisville Metro are benefit from Louisville's forward thinking. Louisville's Council set an example of good government action by approving this local policy. The balance of the state can be a part with passage of Senate Bill 163.

SB 163 is called CATS, Cut Auto Theft Statewide.

Metals recovery across the state helps lead the growth in manufacturing, the automotive surge in the Bluegrass economy. Louisville took a leap ahead. SB 163 moves the balance of the state into a more competitive position.

Senator Gerald Neal of Louisville works with River Metals GM Neal Coulardot
Senator Gerald Neal and Neal Coulardot

Senator Gerald Neal of Louisville, pictured at left, met with Neal Coulardot, the general manager of River Metals large operations on the river in Louisville. Coulardot is also president of the KRA.

The Kentucky Senate is considering SB 163, a proposal by Sen. Tom Buford of Nicholasville, to enhance recycling of older vehicles. Often cars and trucks that are 10 model years or older end up with titles being lost. These vehicles can be recycled, and should be, given the need to get barely-running cars from being "junked" in back yards, side yards or simply abandoned for the government to handle.

Southern states passing similar laws have seen car thefts getting stopped. To recycle the old car without a title a person must sign a statement that the car is theirs to sell. If it's not, it's a crime, just as it would be now. However, the new law puts steps in place to catch the would-be thief, strongly supported by the recycling industry and across law enforcement.

As an example, the state of North Carolina has recover almost 900 stolen cars under a law nearly identical to the one proposed in Frankfort, getting these vehicles back to rightful owners.

Top recycling leaders meet with Rep. Gerald Watkins
Top recycling leaders meet with Rep. Gerald Watkins

State Rep. Gerald Watkins of Paducah, pictured in the middle, met with top leaders of the recycling industry to discuss Senate Bill 163, nicknamed CATS, for Cut Auto Theft Statewide.

At left is Neal Coulardot, president of the KRA, and on the right is David Weed of the David Joseph Companies, now owned by Nucor Steel -- with major facilities in Kentucky.

SB 163 has the unique purpose of cutting car theft, improving the natural landscape and environment, and supporting Kentucky's growing manufacturing base. The new would reform the process of recycling cars older than 10 model years. Louisville has taken this step, learning from the positive results across southern states.

End-of-use vehicles can be sold for scrap, the material then used to make new cars. It's good for growing great jobs, good for Mother Nature, and sets up a process supporting police efforts to intercept stolen cars.

If a title is lost or missing on an old vehicle, citizens coming to a recycling yard must sign that they can sell the car or truck. If it's not true, it's a crime. Moreover, recycling hold the vehicles for three business days in order to notify law enforcement of VIN numbers, aiding sheriffs and local police on the lookout for theft.

The KRA continues to work with lawmakers on CATS so the whole state can benefit from a system that's worked around the country and right here in Louisville as well.

Sentator Robin Webb meets with Jeremy Foster
Senator Robin Webb with Jeremy Foster

Sen. Robin Webb of Grayson talks with Jeremy Foster, left, with Mansbach Metal Company in Ashland about the manufacturing jobs growth in Kentucky. Metals recycling is a key to economic success. Scrapped cars, those vehicles that reach the end of use, is a fundamental for steel making. Then, of course, steel is an essential aspects of auto and truck making, a sector where Kentucky ranks highly.

Pictured at right is Steve Cecil, former president of the KRA, with Green Metals, a Toyota company.

Senate Bill 163 builds on successes from Louisville and several southern states to get old cars recycled. Often old cars don't make it to the recycling yard because car titles are lost or simply not easily available. Senator Tom Buford of Nicholasville, who chairs the Banking and Insurance Committee, has set out the standards aimed at getting older recycled and the part and pieces re-used for new products.