Do you have copper scrap lying around and you’re wondering what to do with it next? It’s a good thing you’re here! Today, we are going to tell you all about why you should recycle copper scrap, along with interesting facts and information about this valuable material. Finally, we will also cover your options for recycling your copper scraps.
We should start by pointing out what a valuable material copper is. In fact, it’s used for all kinds of products you might use every single day. Many people have a number of copper products in their home they didn’t even realize were made of copper. Many of these products could have also been made with recycled copper scrap. There might also be a number of interesting facts about copper you hadn’t considered.
Here are just a few of them:
- Humankind has been using copper for more than 10,000 years
- Copper is a major industrial metal thanks to its high ductility, malleability, thermal, and electrical conductivity. It also has a beneficial resistance to corrosion.
- An estimate from The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that Americans born in 2008 alone will use 1,309 pounds of copper during their lifetime.
Now, let’s get back to copper scraps, and more importantly, why you should recycle yours!
Why We Should Recycle Copper Scrap
Truth be told, there is really no downside to recycling copper scraps. But here are some of the best reasons to start doing this.
There are several reasons recycling these metal scraps is an environmentally friendly option. For starters, no matter how many times copper is used, it can continue to be melted down and repurposed indefinitely. That means there is truly no reason NOT to recycle these scraps, because there will always be a use for them.
You will make money
If you dispose of copper scraps in the garbage, it not only can have a harmful effect on the environment, but there are other major downsides to doing this too. If you recycle your copper scraps instead of tossing them in the garbage, you can earn money for them.
So, if you put them in the garbage rather than take them to scrap recycling experts, you are literally throwing away money at the same time.
Landfills are filling up faster than the world can keep up with. Recycling copper scrap is just one way to do your part in preventing materials from ending up at landfills that don’t need to be there.
Recycling copper uses far less energy than mining for new materials. By choosing to recycle this material rather than mining for new materials, you are in turn saving energy in the form of oil, gas, and goal. At the same time, it means fewer greenhouse gasses and carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
You might be surprised to hear there are economical benefits to recycling copper. Take a look at these statistics outlined by Minerals Make Life to see what we mean:
“Industries including technology, manufacturing, construction, and automotive transform these minerals into the infrastructure and products we use every day, and they have added more than $3.02 trillion to the U.S. economy, which is more than 14 percent of the GDP. By supporting thousands of jobs and providing essential raw materials, minerals and metals mining is critical to our economy.”
Because recycling copper costs less money than extracting and refining copper, it also means copper products don’t cost as much as they would otherwise. For example, when you pay for copper plumbing appliances, they will cost a lot less than they would if copper couldn’t be recycled!
We already mentioned that recycling copper can mean fewer toxic fumes released into the atmosphere. But did you know this also means fewer harmful materials released into the world’s waterways?
When copper is mined and refined, it releases sulfur dioxide. When this gas mixes with water and air, it becomes sulfuric acid. You may be familiar with sulfuric acid because it is primarily what acid rain is made of. Additionally, acid rain is a major contributor to deforestation as well as acidification of waterways, harming fish and other aquatic species. On the other hand, recycling copper scraps releases virtually no harmful materials into the environment.
Why Is It Good to Recycle Copper Scrap?
We’ve covered the major benefits of recycling copper scrap, but there are still a few more points worth discussing. Here are two more reasons it’s a good idea to recycle these scraps.
Copper does not degrade
Most materials on this earth break down at some point. Or at least, they lose their chemical and physical properties when they’re recycled. Copper, on the other hand, does not degrade. At the same time, it also doesn’t lose any of its properties during the recycling process. Copper can be used over and over and over again, negating the need to mine for new copper…that is, as long as people and companies continue recycling copper scrap rather than throwing it away.
75% of copper products are made from recycled copper
Stats from the International Copper Study Group estimated that 33% of the world’s copper consumption came from recycled copper in 2017. As for the United States, an estimated 75% of all copper materials are made from recycled copper. This just goes to show that those scraps you recycle do in fact get used and repurposed. If we keep this hope, these percentages will continue to rise and the benefits will become even more impressive than they already are.
Recycling Options for Copper Scraps
If you’re convinced of all the benefits of recycling copper scrap and you’re ready to take the next step, here are some tips for how to recycle your copper scraps.
For small amounts of copper: If you have odds and ends of copper laying around, it might be easy for you to gather and sort them yourself. Once you have done this, you can simply bring them to your local scrap experts, and they’ll take care of the rest.
Large copper scraps: If you have large amounts of copper or other materials to be recycled, you can save yourself a lot of work by having scrap experts take care of the entire process for you. For example, Scrap Gators can come to your worksite when you have materials ready to be recycled. We will identify, sort, and remove these materials for you. Then, we will pay you for the scrap and take the materials to be recycled.
The Copper Recycling Process
Curious about the recycling process and what happens to copper once we take it away? One of our favorite things to do is educate our clientele about all things scrap metal, and that includes sharing helpful information about the recycling process.
As for copper, the process looks something like this:
Scrap is taken to a metal recycling facility where it can be further sorted and graded. High grade copper can often be melted down and recast, without the need for any other steps. In some cases, it could require moderate refinement to make sure the quality is up to par. Low grade copper, on the other hand, requires electrical refinement to remove impurities. This involves melting the copper down, casting it into anodes, and electroplating it.
What can be made out of scrap copper?
Often called as the world’s most reusable resource, there are so many ways copper can be repurposed once it has been recycled.
Here are some modern applications for recycled copper:
- Vehicles and other transportation
- Industrial machinery
- Power generation
- Motors roofing
- Heat exchangers
Additionally, depending on the quality of the copper, it will be used for different things. In some cases, including when high conductivity is necessary, copper needs to be free of impurities. On the other hand, there are many uses for lower grade copper, including non-electrical purposes like plumbing or roofing.
Scrap Gators: Your Copper Scrap Experts
We’ve covered just about everything you need to know about copper scrap in today’s post. From the benefits of recycling it to the uses for recycled copper and much more, you now have a great understanding of this valuable material.
Now, it’s time to start earning money for the copper scrap you have at your worksites or home—and Scrap Gators is here to help! There is no job we cannot take on, including recycling a number of other materials in addition to copper scrap.
If you’re looking to clean out an old warehouse, repurpose a commercial building, or need help with property management, you’ll need help removing the outdated, unnecessary heavy equipment from the premises. Save yourself valuable time and resources and let us handle all of this for you.
As your one-stop scrap metal experts, we take care of the entire process for you. You will also have the peace of mind you are making an environmentally-friendly decision when you work with us. We are passionate about keeping as much as possible away from our landfills by donating or recycling approximately 70% of what we pick up.
Contact our friendly, knowledgeable team today to schedule your scrap removal estimate in Florida.