How is Copper Recycled?
People have been recycling copper and copper alloy for hundreds of years. Since then, the process has been improved to keep up with high demand. Copper scrap with a high level of purity is melted and cast for easy transportation. Scrap copper of lesser purity is refined until it’s converted into a pure grade of electrolytic cathode copper.
Learn how we make it easy for enterprises, businesses and homeowners to recycle their scrap copper.
What can recycled copper become?
Most scrap copper is directly melted and recast by foundries, wire rod producers and brass mills. The refined copper is then used to make brass, plumbing valves and fittings, electrical cables and copper wire for electronics, cars and appliances. In fact, re-using scrap copper is so common that currently only about 15% of the world’s known copper reserves have been mined.
Recycled copper and the environment
Recycling scrap copper helps divert waste from the landfill. Plus, repurposing the useful material only requires about 10% of the energy needed to mine copper from the earth. Mining raw copper ore generates a considerable amount of sulphur dioxide. Recycling scrap copper creates none of these harmful chemicals and saves both fossil fuels and CO2 emissions.
Common Places to Find Recyclable Copper
- Electrical wiring and cables (thick, insulated wire can be found in refrigerators, dishwashers, freezers, washing machines and dryers. Smaller insulated wire can be found in blenders, coffee makers and extension cords).
- Plumbing tubes, valves, and fittings
- Roofing copper and decorative copper