4-Part Series: Safety & Environmental Issues of the Recycling Industry
In early January 2017, the United States Mint resumed thee Mutilated Coin Redemption Program after a three-year suspension. The suspension of the program was a result of an investigation and later, litigation with at least one company. During that time, ISRI petitioned the Mint to resume the program and provided expert advice and suggestions for how to ensure mutilated coins were received and properly inspected while understanding the limitations of industry. ISRI sent several letters during the first suspension and met with the Mint to provide advice and background about the scrap recycling industry. The Mint was fascinated to learn more about how the scrap recycling operates, what types of products are recycled, and how the industry accumulates so many coins.
Prior to the 2016 Presidential Election, the Mint did not have a confirmed director who manages and oversees the operations of the Mint. Without a politically appointed director, the Mint was being supervised by its parent agency, the U.S. Treasury. Unfortunately, during that timeframe, the Mint was unable to move forward with resuming the mutilated coin program. ISRI worked with several U.S. Senators to question the Mint director nominee about whether or not he would reinstate the program. At his confirmation hearing, he answered Senator Tim Scott (SC) indicating he supported the program would do reinstate it as soon as possible.
Before the Mint resumed the program in 2017, it issued a rulemaking to request public comments on its revised procedures for presenting mutilated coins to the Mint. The Mint required among other things, the coins to be package by denomination and a separate certification form to be submitted with each submission. The form is quite simple and straightforward requesting contact information and some routine business information. However, one major change in the rule was the ability of the Mint to refer criminal investigations onto other federal agencies for further action. This provision would enable the Mint to not only investigate possible fraud but to have those further investigated and possibly charged with federal crimes.
The new inspection and submission protocol was operating for less than a year when the Mint abruptly suspended the program once again. Since the suspension, ISRI has again reached out to the Mint and the U.S. Senate to gain more information about the suspension and offer assistance to quickly get the program back up and running. The Mint responded indicating they are working on an enhanced inspection protocol but has not provided any timeframe for its release. Any such rulemaking will require a review by the Office of Management and Budget before being released for public comment. ISRI will be watching for any announcement or notice about this program. For more information, please contact Billy Johnson.
In March 2018, the U.S. Senate confirmed David J. Ryder as the next U.S. Mint Director for a term of five years. Mr. Ryder had been the Mint Director in the George W. Bush Administration. During Mr. Ryder's confirmation hearing, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) asked the nominee about the Mint's Mutilated Coin Redemption Program whereupon, Mr. Ryder replied that he was very familiar with the long standing program and supported its resumption.
We understand that the Mint has recently begun accepting mutilated coins after a three year suspension. However, the Mint does reserve the right to inspect any facility before accepting coins or if they believe there is a need to visit and may refer any discrepancy onto federal law enforcement for investigation and prosecution.
U.S. Mint - Mutilated Coin Redemption Program Instructions
Federal Register - Final Rule for Mutilated Coins (09/19/17)
PDF, 223 KB
Federal Register - Proposed Revisions for Mutilated Coins (09/19/17)
PDF, 210 KB
2016-26270 Federal Register Notice of comment
PDF, 170.26 KB
U.S. Mint Exchange of Coin Notice (11/07/16)
ISRI's Comments on Mutilated Coins (11/15/16)
PDF, 302.55 KB
ISRI Letter to the Treasury re Moratorium (07/14/16)
PDF, 139 KB