Gathering scrap metal, like copper, from old belongings can be a great way to make a little extra money. Copper is a sought-after scrap metal since it is durable and has great conductivity. Plus, scrap metal recycling is beneficial for the environment since it reduces landfill waste and reduces greenhouse gas emissions during raw ore extraction and processing.
You can find scrap copper in old appliances—like blenders and toasters—electronics, housing materials, and so on. Many types of copper can be recycled, but how much money you get in return will depend on the type you recycle. Take a look at the different copper categories and how they can change your rate of return.
Bare-bright copper is arguably the copper scrap that will get you the most money. This copper has a purer copper content and is unalloyed and uncoated. Bare-bright copper is a limited class of certain wire gauges, and it doesn't include copper piping.
No. 1 Copper
Like bare-bright copper, No. 1 copper is free of alloys like brass, steel, or tin. It should also be free of impurities like plastic fittings; if you have burnt wiring, it should be free of excessive soot. The main difference between bare bright copper and No. 1 copper is that No. 1 copper can include piping, tubing, copper punches, and other scraps, while bare bright-copper is limited to only certain wire gauges.
No. 2 Copper
These types of copper scraps aren't as pure as bare-bright or No. 1 copper since they have a small percentage of alloys, like lead or tin soldering. No. 2 copper may also have more damages, like ash, paint chips, or corrosion. This type of copper isn't worth as much because it takes recycling centers longer to process these items and remove impurities.
No. 3 Copper
No. 3 copper mainly involves copper scrap that is used for building or roofing materials. Like No. 2 copper, No. 3 copper scraps aren't worth as much as bare-bright or No. 1 copper because of impurities. No. 3 copper mainly has impurities due to tar, paint, and building adhesives.
Light copper is the last category and will fetch the least amount of money in return since it has a lower purity and higher mix of alloys, like nickel. However, the great benefit of light copper scraps is that they are much easier to find since scraps can include things like kettles, pots, downspouts, etc. While light copper should be free of contaminates as much as possible, it's much easier to collect than things bare-bright copper or No. 1 copper, which may need to be stripped from walls or cables.
Contact a copper recycling service to learn more about the different categories of copper and how to collect and sort your scraps for money.
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