Copper Scrap Recycling: A Brief Guide

14 November 2022
 Categories: , Blog

People are almost always looking for ways to make extra money these days and one of the best ideas for an alternative source of income is to collect and sell scrap metal. You don't need to get a garbage bag and start collecting aluminum cans, however, to make some extra cash in the scrap metal game. Copper scrap receives much higher prices than most other metals, which makes it a great choice for anyone looking to get into recycling scrap metal. Here is a brief guide to this exciting opportunity. 


One question that those just starting out in scrapping might have is this: why does copper receive high prices from recyclers? The answer is that copper is useful in a wide variety of ways that are valuable to society. For instance, copper is used in the generation of electricity because it's an excellent electrical conductor. Copper is found in the wiring and circuitry of many appliances and electronic products. The automobile and construction industries use a significant amount of copper as well. All of these uses, and several others, make copper an important metal for recyclers.


The price you receive for your scrap copper depends on its classification. Copper recyclers classify scrap copper into five different grades and some grades get higher prices. For example, the most desirable grade is called bare bright copper. This is copper that is uncoated and is not alloyed, which gives it a shiny appearance. Other grades are #1 copper, #2 copper, #1 insulated wire, and #2 insulated wire. The #1 grades are cleaner than the #2 grades and command higher prices as a result.


Scrap copper comes from many sources. For instance, automobile copper scrap can often be found by going to an auto scrapyard that allows you to pull your own auto parts. If you are remodeling your home, check to see if there are any copper pipes that need to be replaced. Another good source of copper scrap is old television sets and computer monitors, as these items often have copper wiring or components.


You won't just be making extra money when you recycle old copper, you will also be helping society because copper recycling has several important benefits. First, it reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Also, recycling scrap copper requires only a fraction of the energy required to mine new copper. This limits the use of fossil fuels, which helps the environment. Also, recycling copper helps to preserve the limited amount of copper that has not yet been extracted from the ground.

Contact a local copper recycling service to learn more.