When you think about items and materials that can be recycled, copper may not be one of the first that comes to mind. However, while aluminum and steel may be recycled much more often, the fact is copper can be recycled and offers you many benefits in doing so. Now that you know this, here are some reasons why you should give copper a second look when doing your recycling.
A Lucrative Material
Perhaps most importantly, copper is a very lucrative material to recycle. Maintaining about 90 percent of its original value, most recycling centers will pay you anywhere from two to four dollars per pound of copper, whereas aluminum and steel are bought at prices much, much lower.
It’s Easy to Find
Contrary to what most people believe, copper is actually a metal that is very easy to find. If you’re serious about finding copper to recycle, head to local construction sites, since newer houses use much more copper than people realize. To find it, look in trash bins where copper is often accidentally tossed. Also, while you’re at the construction site, look for hardware such as valves and fittings, since these also contain copper.
Separate the Copper
When you are doing your copper recycling, be aware that there are many different types of copper, meaning you will need to separate it before visiting a recycling center. The types of copper are #1, #2, #3, and copper wiring. #1 copper is the most expensive, meaning it has no insulation on it and also has no oxidation or oil. As for the least expensive, that’s copper wiring. If you don’t strip the insulation off the copper wiring prior to recycling, it will bring you the least amount of cash.
Recycling Rather than Mining
When you compare recycling copper to mining for new copper, you may be surprised to learn that recycling copper takes 90 percent less energy than copper mining operations. This makes recycling much better for the environment since it releases almost no pollution into the atmosphere. Ultimately, copper recycling helps keep manufacturing costs lower, which in turn makes retail prices lower.
Being a non-renewable metal means that once the world’s copper supply is gone, it will be gone forever. However, you don’t have to worry about this happening soon, since it’s estimated that less than 15 percent of the world’s copper supply has been used so far. By choosing to recycle, you’ll not only make some money but also help to preserve the supply of this important metal.