repurposing as a part of your recycling efforts

Want to Sell Recycled Metal? Watch for Scrap Copper Metal

Copper is one of the more valuable metals, so it is in demand for recycling. If you're going to start metal recycling, you'll want to learn about separating and preparing copper for the recycling center. While it's easier to find large pieces of steel or aluminum for recycling, copper can still be an important part of your efforts. Here's where to find copper for recycling and some tips for collecting it.

Where to Find Scrap Copper

Copper is common in old plumbing, so copper pipes are always worth looking for. Copper is also used in various types of construction, such as flashing for roofs. One of the most common sources for copper is wiring. Cords to appliances contain copper wire since it conducts electricity well. When you're out hunting for scrap metal to collect, carry snips with you so you can cut cords off trashed appliances and start building a cord collection to deal with later.

How to Prepare Copper For Recycling

Just like different types of metal sell for different prices, different grades of copper sell for different prices. Bare, shiny copper is the most valued, so you'll want to separate it from other copper so you can sell it separately for the highest price. When it comes to plumbing pipes, the pipes with only copper are more valuable than pipes that have brass fittings, so you may need to cut the end off the pipes if they have connections attached. Roofing flashing that has tar, adhesives, or paint stuck on it is less valuable than plain copper.

Learning how to separate copper according to grade takes time and experience. Plus, you'll want to know the policies and prices paid by the recycling center you work with. Then, you can determine if it's worth the effort to separate copper and strip wire before you haul it in. For instance, you'll earn more if you strip the insulation off wiring, but that's a tedious job. The recycling center has machines to do the work, so they'll accept wiring with the insulation intact, but they won't pay as much for it.

At the very least, you'll want to pull all the copper metal from the rest of your metal for recycling since it is worth more and if you lump copper together with other types of metal, you'll be paid per pound for the lowest value metal in your haul. You may not run across a huge amount of copper when you start metal recycling, but the small amounts add up and are a nice bonus for your efforts when you cash in a load.

For more information on getting started, contact copper recycling companies.