Copper is a valuable recycling asset. This metal is completely recyclable and easy to reuse, so it commands a premium recycling price. If you're a homeowner renovating an old house, then you can sell old copper pipes, radiators and appliances to earn some useful extra money. Commercial companies, such as construction and demolition contractors, can use scrap copper to create a useful extra income stream.
However, recycling companies don't pay the same amount of cash for every piece of copper you could give them. They grade this waste and pay according to its quality. Read on to learn more about the things that affect the money you can earn from copper waste.
1. Bare and Shiny Brightness
Copper with a bare and shiny classification is worth the most money. This copper is pure and easy to recycle. So, its treatment costs are minimal, and it is at a premium in the market. This grade of waste has to be pure copper; alloy waste won't get this grade. It also has to be clean, uncoated and free from impurities.
Some copper waste has a coating. For example, plumbing pipes might have paint, enamel or solder on their surfaces. If you're selling insulated copper cables, then they will have a protective jacket.
Typically, the value of your waste is higher if your waste is pure and clean. So, a copper pipe that doesn't have any paint on it has a higher unit value than a painted one. The wires in cables are more valuable if you sell them without their jackets.
This is down to treatment costs. Coated waste needs more treatment during the recycling process. The copper will have to be stripped clean first. Higher recycling costs typically mean lower buying prices.
While you won't want to strip the paint off pipes, you should consider stripping jackets off cables and wires if you have a lot of them to sell. If the copper in your wires and cables is bare and shiny, then you make a lot more money if you remove coatings before you sell.
Attachments affect the recycling value of copper. For example, you usually get a lower price for copper plumbing piping with attachments such as brass taps or fittings. These attachments have to be removed before the piping is in a ready-to-recycle state.
While your copper will still be valuable, you could increase the money you get by removing these attachments if you have the tools and time. If your piping is in good overall condition, then it could get a higher grade price if you sell it without attachments.
For more information, contact a company like Brisbane Scrap Metals & Recycling.