Reuse and Recycle: 3 Tips for Getting More Out of Used Copper Wiring

Scrapheap of copperRecycling copper goes beyond earning money from scraps—it’s a common practice nowadays to join the greener movement in production. As such, it is necessary to know the basics of scrapping, stripping, and calculating the recyclable copper found in your wirings and supplies.

1. Understand copper’s scrap value

Copper’s use in the industry requires a certain level of purity. This is especially true for commercially-used copper, which is used for enamelled wires. Due to the need for high conductivity, pure copper with very minimal to no surface flaws are required, Copper.org reported. LKM Recycling notes that grade A-quality copper that has gone through uncontaminated copper wire recycling is used for these. On the other hand, contaminated scrap copper that has been associated with other specific metals also have its respective higher value.

2. Keep metals in order

Copper wire recycling is tricky in that there may be several metals mixed in that object. The key is to know how to separate your metals for an easier time recycling. According to Tough Nickel, mixing metals and dumping them to recycling shops will make more of a hassle for recyclers. At the same time, mixed metals will be considered as second grade, and give you a lower value for your money. Remember, your metals weight will only be important if you are weighing pure metals.

3. Know common calculations

If you want to know beforehand the estimate of the weight of your recycled metals before you bring it to the recycling shop, there are a few calculations that may help. For Scrap cites two calculations specific to 12-gauge and 250mcm-750mcm copper wires. The 12-gauge wire usually yields 75% copper recovery post-stripping. This means 75 lbs of copper for every 100lbs of insulated copper wire, with the rest being plastic waste. For 250mcm-750mcm wire, the yield will be higher at 90%. One has the choice of stripping it to get 90 lbs of copper or sell it as is to the recycling yard.

These three basic steps are crucial to ensure that you get the most out of your recyclable copper. It’s a first step to becoming active in recycling waste and even earning more for previous waste.