Things You Need To Know To Make Money Recycling Copper Scrap

Posted on: 14 March 2022

Copper recycling is a popular way to make some additional money and is not difficult if you know what you need to do to minimize the price when selling it. The hardest part is often finding scrap material that is free to pick up or gather and preparing the copper before you sell it.

Finding Copper

When looking for copper scrap to recycle, it is crucial that you only take it from sources you are authorized to salvage. Copper can be found in old houses, on scrap appliances and equipment, and in many places where things have been dumped. You may have to work a little to get the copper out of an appliance, or a house, but the effort is often worth it if you wait to sell the scrap until the price is high.

Often demolition contractors that are going to take a house down will not take the time to strip out the copper and other materials before they demolish the structure. If you develop a working relationship with a local demolition contractor, you may be able to get permission to go into the house a day or two before the demo starts and pull out wiring, copper pipes, and other items that may be recyclable before the building comes down. 

If the demolition company is planning to sort and recycle the copper themselves, they may not want you in the building. If they are not, you might want to offer to give the contractor some of the profit in return for the chance to pull copper from the building. You can also find copper material in dumpsters and scrap piles, but ask before you take it, so you don't get into trouble with the property owner. 

Preparing The Copper

Copper recycling often pays the best when turning in pure copper without any additional materials connected to it. A copper pipe that is still soldered to a fitting is not worth as much as a single piece of pipe by itself. Eliminating any material that could contaminate the copper should be the first step in sorting your copper. 

If you have some copper wire you collected, the copper recycling plant will want the casing peeled away from the wire to process it faster. If you take time to pull all the wire casing off and only take the pure copper core to the recycler, the price can increase significantly because they don't have to pay someone to strip the wire.

It is also a good idea to watch the prices and wait until you see an increase in the amount recyclers are paying before you take the copper in. If the recycler is short on stock, they may pay more for copper recycling to encourage people to bring more in and build up their copper on hand.