Scrapping Copper? Know How To Sort It Into The Different Categories


Do you have a lot of copper that you are looking to take to a scrap yard, but are not aware of the different categories that it needs to be sorted into? Here is what you need to know to get the most value from your scrap copper by sorting it properly.

Bare Bright

The most valuable type of copper that you can scrap is known as bare bright copper. As the name implies, this copper is not going to have any other material attached to it and will be as bright as a shiny penny. However, it can be difficult to know what is actually considered bare bright and what is not. 

Bare bright copper is going to often be found in wiring, such as the Romex wire that is used in homes. All of the sheathing needs to be removed from the wire, which will reveal the incredibly bare and shiny copper that is left behind. Be aware that the thickness of the wire matters for it to be considered bare bright since scrap yards are looking for the thickness to be no thinner than that of the wire used in homes for Romex wire. This is about the equivalent of the size of a lead pencil. Thicker wire is accepted as bare bright and worth more money. It's also important that the wires do not have any oxidation or tarnish on the surface. 

#1 Copper

What typically falls into the #1 copper category is the copper wire that is too thin to be used for home wiring. This is the wire used in low voltage scenarios and coaxes cables to get a television or Internet signal to your home. Even if you are able to strip the wire of its sheathing and it looks bright, the thickness is what bumps it down to #1 copper instead of bare bright.

Tubes or pipes made out of copper with little to no tarnish on them will be considered #1 copper. This could be old copper plumbing that is removed from a home and has all other brass fixtures removed from the pipe. 

#2 Copper

What downgrades some forms of copper to #2 copper is if the wire is incredibly thin. You see this with wires that use copper strands that are twisted around each other to make a thicker cable. This also includes thinner motor wires as well. Copper that has a coating or other materials on the exterior is also considered #2 copper, or if it is very dirty and needs to be cleaned up. 

For more information, contact a copper recycling service near you.


9 November 2021

what can you do with recyclable materials?

Recycling goes well beyond tossing your plastic bottles and aluminum cans in bins separate from your un-recyclable trash. Every little bit counts when it comes to recycling. Maybe it is time for you to consider going beyond traditional recycling in your home. You can take things that would otherwise end up in salvage yards or landfills and make something truly spectacular out of them. My site is filled with great ideas for using your "trash" to create things like wall art, furniture, children's entertainment items, and much, much more. You can save money on things that you would otherwise have to buy and have fun creating your own stuff out of recyclable materials.