Things You Should Know About Recycling Copper

Posted on: 16 January 2020

Recycling your used copper is a great way to get a return on your investment as well as keep completely reusable materials out of the landfill. However, to make recycling go more smoothly and to increase your chance of getting the most for your copper, you may need to make some adjustments. Here is more information about recycling copper and how to make recycling easier for both you and the scrapyard.

Know Your Metal

Make sure you know the difference between the different types of copper and other metals. Scrap yards often have their own preferences and limitations. They may even turn you away if you don't have the copper or other metal that they need. Also, make sure you know the difference between copper and other metals and alloys. Most scrapyards charge different prices for different types of metals.

Scrapyards tend to favor the following types of copper, but often will accept other types:

  • Bare bright wiring
  • Copper tubing (especially #1 copper tubing)
  • Roofing copper
  • Copper flashing

Recycle Only Clean Metal

"Clean metal" does not mean you need to wash your copper, but you need to remove anything that is not copper from your scrap. You should remove fittings, bolts, nails, solder, or anything else that is not copper. This includes removing copper from inside devices and machines. The scrapyard may also ask that you strip all copper wire over a certain size.

Separate Your Copper

Separate your copper according to size and type. This even includes different types and sizes of copper wiring, including breakage. Don't be afraid to sell your alloys and other scrap metal pieces along with your copper, but keep them in their own bins. You may not get compensated as much for some metals compared to copper, but you will help the environment. Call ahead to the scrapyard to see if they also accept non-copper metals.

Sell Only Your Own Copper

Make sure you only recycle copper that you own or that you obtained from sources you know. Always make sure that you get an agreement, preferably in writing, or ask permission from the original owner before collecting someone else's copper. Scrapyards often keep written or digital records of scrap metal sales, and suspicious activities will be noticed.

When you take a little time to prepare your copper for the scrap yard, then turning it in will go quickly and easily. Recycling copper not only helps you, but it also makes your copper available for other purposes. When you are ready to recycle your copper, then contact a scrapyard or copper recycling business for any special requirements.