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Is Copper Worth Scrapping?

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A stack of copper wiring for scrapping

You can recycle many different materials, but did you know you can recycle copper? Like other metals, there are benefits to recycling this material. You won’t be heading to your regular recycling depot, but you can get rid of any extra copper you have lying around and get paid for it.

If you have copper to get rid of, there are many reasons why it’s worth scrapping. Continue reading to learn more about copper and why it’s worth recycling. 

What is Copper?

Copper has been around for a long time, as far back as 5100 B.C. The red-coloured material was the first metal manipulated by humans, and it plays an important role in many everyday objects. You can find copper in many industries because of its high ductility, malleability, resistance to corrosion, and thermal and electrical conductivity. 

Copper is the third-most-consumed industrial metal on the planet today; you can find it in many common electronics. 

Everyday Copper Uses

Copper has many uses, including: 

  • Motors
  • Wiring
  • Radiators 
  • Connectors
  • Brakes
  • Piping 

You can find copper anywhere from your home, car, computer, or phone; it’s a vital material we use every day. Copper has many uses, but is there value in recycling this material? Why bother scrapping copper? 

Why Scrap Copper? 

Copper usage is dependent on the recycling and repurposing of this material, and it’s been common practice for centuries. It does not degrade or lose its chemical properties when recycled, allowing continued use of this material in a different form. Recycled copper accounts for around 33% of the world’s copper consumption

Like other metals, there are significant benefits to recycling copper, including: 

  • Solid waste diversion 
  • Reduced energy requirements for processing
  • Natural resource conservation 

Energy costs are up to 85 to 90% less when processing recycled copper instead of new ore. Copper is non-renewable, so conserving as much as possible can prevent resource depletion in the future, but the world has only consumed approximately 12% of the known copper reserves. 

The earth isn’t the only thing benefiting from copper recycling; your wallet does too. Depending on the amount of copper you have and its quality, you can get some money for your scrap. Overall, is it worth scrapping copper?   

Stack of coins in front of copper showing the incentive to scrap copper

Is Copper Worth Scrapping? 

You may be wondering if copper is worth scrapping; it is. 

We need copper for many items we use every day. Scrapping this material allows for it to be used again in a different form. Copper is worth scrapping because:

Its Price is High 

If you’re looking for an incentive to scrap your copper, you can fetch a good price depending on the quality and amount you have. 

The high demand for copper is what makes it such a valuable material to recycle. You can find non-ferrous metals like copper almost anywhere, from industries like construction to almost all electronics. You can find an estimated 200-400 pounds of copper per ton of printed circuit boards. 

The price value of your copper depends on its quality. Copper can be combined with other materials, making it “contaminated.” Scrap considered contaminated typically commands a lower price than pure copper. 

While demands can change, copper prices hit an 8-year high in December 2020. Copper can be worth over $4 per kilogram in Canada. 

It Can Be Used Again & Again 

If you have useless copper lying around your home, scrapping it can be beneficial for the environment. 

Copper is so valuable because of its ability to be recycled again and again. It does not degrade during the recycling process, allowing old copper to be repurposed instead of using new material. Old copper uses less energy during processing

Another benefit of scrapping your copper is preventing unnecessary waste. Instead of sitting in your garage or a landfill, someone can reuse your old copper.

Copper is in many things, but you may not even know what appliances contain this material. If you’re looking to scrap stuff lying around your garage, what kind of copper can you recycle? 

What Kind of Copper Can You Scrap? 

It can be difficult to figure out what kind of copper products you can scrap. If you’re looking to recycle copper you have lying around; you can bring any of these items to your recycling centre: 

  • Stripped wire
  • Piping 
  • Turnings
  • Bar stock 
  • Sheets 
  • Insulated wire 
  • Radiators (clean or dirty) 

If you’re unsure if the copper you have is scrapable, contact your local recycling centre. They can answer any questions you have. 

Copper is Worth Scrapping 

Whether you’re doing it for the environment or some extra money, copper is worth scrapping. You aren’t limited to copper; you can recycle any ferrous or non-ferrous metals you have. You can get rid of waste from your property while lining your pockets. 

If you’re unsure if your copper is acceptable or you have any questions, give your local recycling centre a call. 

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