Analysts anticipate a significant increase in demand for copper in the coming years: prices are forecasted to go up to $6.80 per pound (or $51,000 per metric ton) by 2025. With a limited supply of newly mined or virgin copper, the rates for recycled copper in the secondary metals market are likely to rise as well. Learn more in this blog post from Sgt. Scrap, based in New Jersey and serving a wide geographic area.
Why Is Copper So Valuable?
The demand for copper typically outstrips production – and mining practices can be harmful to the environment. Thus, there is a significant market for secondary, or recycled, copper. Copper is non-ferrous, is an excellent conductor of electricity, and doesn’t degrade easily – meaning recycled copper works just as well as newly mined copper.
While copper has long been popular in wiring and interior components for appliances and electronics, it is now also being used in newer technologies, such as electric vehicle batteries and chargers. According to a report from Business Insider, the demand for copper could increase by 900 percent each year over the current decade. This presents a big opportunity for sellers in the scrap metal market, who offer a more sustainable source of this reusable metal.
Sources of Scrap Copper
You might be surprised to learn that sources of scrap copper are fairly common in homes and businesses. These include:
- Wires: Many household appliances and electronic devices have copper wiring, including TVs, computers, printers, blenders, toasters, and microwave ovens.
- Pipes: While PVC pipes are more common today, the pipes that carry water throughout an older building are often made of copper.
- Washers and dryers: These appliances often have copper wires or motor parts made with copper.
- Water heaters: The tubes, pipes, and fittings in a water heater may be made from copper.
- Air conditioners: Copper wires, tubing, and motor parts are common in air conditioners, especially in older units.
- Car parts: A vehicle’s alternator, radiator, wire harness, and starter motor might contain copper parts.
Brass parts and fixtures can also be scrapped, but because they’re an alloy of copper and other materials, they usually have a lower price than copper.
Note: Air conditioners and refrigerators may contain an ozone-depleting fluid called Freon, which should be removed by a licensed contractor before the appliance is taken apart for scrap.
How Scrap Copper Is Graded
Scrap copper is categorized or graded to indicate its composition: the higher the grade, the more valuable the copper is. The grades for copper solids are:
- Bare bright: Contains at least 99% pure copper
- Scrap copper #1: Shall consist of clean, unalloyed, uncoated copper clippings, punchings, bus bars, commutator segments, and clean copper tubing. Hydraulically briquetted copper subject to agreement
- Scrap copper #2: consists of miscellaneous, unalloyed copper scrap having a nominal 96% copper content (minimum 94%) as determined by scale master. Should be free of the following: Excessively leaded, tinned, soldered copper scrap; brasses and bronzes; excessive oil content, iron and non-metallics; copper tubing with other than copper connections or with sediment; copper wire from burning; insulation; hair wire; brittle burnt wire; and should be reasonably free of ash. Hydraulically briquetted copper subject to agreement.
Copper wire is typically categorized as high-grade (#1 wire) or low-grade (#2 wire).
Whether you are a professional scrapper or simply a homeowner working on a renovation, you can sell copper material to a scrap yard in exchange for cash. When preparing copper and other metal to sell at a scrap yard, be sure that items are generally free of dirt and debris. Group items by type: for example, keep copper wires separate from copper pipes. Copper wires are often insulated, so if you have a wire stripper, you can remove the insulation yourself.
Choose a Trusted Name in Scrap Metal Recycling
Don’t let valuable scrap metal go to waste in a landfill. By selling your copper to a scrap yard, you’ll know it’s being recycled responsibly – and you’ll get paid on the spot. At Sgt. Scrap, we offer competitive and transparent prices for scrap copper and other metal such as aluminum, steel, and brass. With two scrap yard locations in Haddon Township: and Pennsauken Township, NJ, we serve customers in the following areas:
- New Jersey
- New York
We offer Mobile Pick up from those selected states no matter how far but please note, depending on the distance from our Pennsauken location, our requirement for the Mobile Pick-up service becomes more stringent.
We make it easy for our customers to recycle their scrap metal: you can schedule a pick-up, drop off your scrap at one of our locations, or order a roll-off dumpster to collect scrap at your job site. Our expert team is available to answer any questions you may have about the scrapping process. To learn more, call us at 856-356-2516 or contact us online today.