Copper Recycling - Copper is the third leading used metal after iron and aluminum. Today, this vital metal’s recycling rates are one of the highest among nonferrous metals. Copper can be recycled with little to no loss of chemical or physical quality, as a recycled amount of copper has about 95 % of the value it had when it was a newly minded primary metal. Within the Untied States alone, which, since the 20th century has become completely self-sufficient with regards to its copper supply, almost as much copper is recovered through recycling as it is through mining ore. As copper is highly resistant to corrosion, it is known for its longevity; and it is estimated that 80% of all copper ever mined is still in circulation today, due to high rates of recycling.
Copper is commonly used in a pure form than any other metal. However, copper is used in many alloys and can be classified in many different ways. Some common recyclable types of copper include:
Bare bright is expected to be very clean and pure. This usually will include any 12 gauge solid strand sized wire or larger that has been stripped from it's shield and is free from tarnish or any other impurities that keeps it from being "bright and shiny" in appearance. Most often MCM stripped wire is the item commonly bought as bare bright but could include other wire that has been stripped also, as defined above.
This is usually copper pipe that has a "new appearance look" without any visible paint corrosion, and/or solder. While this copper pipe consists purely of copper, it may contains some trace amounts of typical chemical build up inside the pipe, though the outside will almost always have a new copper appearance. New copper pipe tarnished from age may still qualify as a #1 copper. Common material would be copper tubing and HVAC line set.
This is copper pipe that contains any visible paint, corrosion, and/or solder. Because this may contain solder (lead and tin), this copper is often purchased from foundries that make brass, as it already has some of the the base elements. Some also refine this copper pipe back into pure copper.
#1 Insulated Heavy or MCM
This wire has outstanding recovery and commonly is very close in price with #2 copper. Common size is ranged from 100 MCM to 1000 MCM, 100 being the smallest.
There is a wide range of electrical wire that could fall into the classification of #1 insulated; including any wire that has strands the size of a 12 gauge solid strand wire or larger and has the defined recycling market recovery. Often 1 through 6 AWG will qualify along with 10 and 12 AWG solid strand wire.
#2 Insulated Heavy
An uncommon but recyclable wire. This will usually have a recovery similar to #1 insulated and includes MCM like wire that has a tin layer over the copper. There are other less common types of #2 insulated heavy also.
Similar to #1 insulated #2 Insulated has an even a wider range of electrical wire that could fall into its classification. Most all wire that has smaller strands than a 12 AWG solid wire or a less defined recovery than #1 insulated will be #2 insulated. This includes but not limited to 8 through 12 AWG stranded and any 14 through 30 AWG wire. Most telecommunication wire will also be placed into #2 insulated such as cat4, cat5, cat6 and other ethernet and standard phone cords. Another example of #2 insulated are most 110 outlet cords and extension cords.
Very common wire used in wiring homes. It is considered a mid recovery insulated grade. Often the price of Romex will fall inbetween that of #1 insulated & #2 insulated wires.
This is usually a combination of copper and brass. The copper is the "fins" of the radiator but the rest usually is brass. These are being less commonly used in modern vehicles as aluminum radiator technology advances in the market place.
This is low recovery copper that includes motors and other electronic devices. Prices for Copper Bearing are extremely lower than other copper items.