Scrapping Copper? Don't Forget To Check Inside Those Wires

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Hello, my name’s Mark Lindon. I have to admit that I wasn't always the “greenest” person. I was even known to take a risk and litter once in awhile. However, I started to study the effects of waste on our environment and energy, and I was appalled. I found myself reading and absorbing as much information as I could on the subject. Where I live, recycling isn't a requirement. This makes me mad; it should be a requirement everywhere! I sat my wife and three children down and talked about the importance of recycling. I explained that if we spread the word, we would make a difference in the world. My kids were particularly excited about this concept. Along with their friends, they started encouraging people to have separate bins for their recycle goods. I’m going to share more about this for you.

Scrapping Copper? Don't Forget To Check Inside Those Wires

12 August 2020
 Categories: , Blog

Are you collecting copper so that you can turn it in for cash at a local scrap yard? If so, one of the places where you'll frequently see copper hiding is inside wires. Here is what you need to know about looking for any identifying copper in this frequently found object.

Insulated Wires

Many households will get rid of standard insulated wire, which is used for electronic devices and gadgets. When you look inside the wire, you'll notice a single strand of copper that is easy to identify. These wires should only have copper in them as well, which makes them an easy target for scrapping. It is not worth stripping the wire unless you have a very large amount of it and an easy way to get the insulated casing off. Otherwise, you are better off collecting a large bundle of this type of wire and scrapping it with the insulation still on the wire. 

Aluminum BX Cables

You may run across flexible aluminum casings that contain copper wires inside them. The first step is to identify if the casing is aluminum or steel, which you can do by using a magnet, because aluminum is not magnetic. Make sure that you separate your steel casings from the aluminum ones, since aluminum is worth more to a scrap yard. You'll need to pull that casing back so that you can remove the wires that are inside of it. Aluminum BX cables typically have about three strands of copper wire inside them, which are going to be thicker than your standard insulated wire and in a continuous run. It is actually worth stripping the insulation from these wires so that you get the most value from the copper. 

Copper Cables

You may also run across thicker copper cables that are used in commercial spaces and often discarded. These cables have a simple insulated casing around them and several thick strands of copper wire inside of them. It will be worth it to strip the insulation from the wire, which will increase the value of the copper wires inside to be worth much more than they would otherwise. 

Copper cables come in various grades with different types of insulating material. You may get lucky and find a very thick copper cable with several large strands of copper on the inside, or a thinner cable that wraps thin strands of copper with aluminum. No matter what form the copper cable comes in, it is always worth removing that insulating layer.

For more tips on scrapping copper wires, talk to a copper recycling company in your area.