The Process of Copper Wire Recycling

By Irena Kosturska

An amazing opportunity to prevent metal wastage is to sell scrap copper for metal recycling. This metal is hard-wearing and easy to recycle, but it is also extensive in homes and businesses. Not only are they present in obsolete household and office appliances like microwaves, computers, and televisions, but copper is also present in plumbing, cars and rooftops.

While copper wire isn’t the most valuable grade of copper scrap, it is often widely available throughout older electronics. Recycling your copper wire is a quick and easy way to rid your space of cluttered cables and broken appliances. Most importantly, the process of recycling copper wire is quick and simple for a range of environmental and economic benefits.

The process of copper wire recycling

The process of metal recycling varies between metals, but the process of selling scrap copper wires for recycling begins with stripping the collected metal of its protective shielding. Wires are often coated in plastic insulation to protect the cables and surrounds from this highly conductive metal. This must be removed before the recycling process, by carefully cutting through the shielding and sliding the insulation off the wire. There are a range of wire stripping tools available. For smaller quantities, the insulation can be easily removed with a pair of household scissors or a handheld wire stripper, or in bulk with an automatic wire stripper by recycling experts. This process also includes removing any attachments to the scrap metal such as nuts, bolts or nails.

Once the copper wire has been stripped of the insulation and any attachments it must be sorted by grading. Higher grades of copper can be melted and recast without much refinement, but lower grades may require further processes to remove any impurities. The copper is then collected by grading and sent to a recycling facility to undergo a quality inspection to ensure the copper is contaminant free and ready for melting. Some recycling facilities have a granulator process that begins by shredding the collected metal, separating thick cables or intertwined wires, or a crusher that cuts the copper wire into smaller parts. These tools ensure that long, copper wire is cut to a manageable size and removes any mixed materials before the melting process. 

The copper is then loaded into a furnace, melted into molten metal, and cast into the desired shape. Once the copper has cooled, it is fit for a new purpose such as rods transformed into building wire or rolled into smooth sheets for further manufacturing. Recycled copper has a range of applications across many industries including transport, construction and electronics.

Benefits of copper wire recycling

Copper is an extremely sought-after metal for recycling due to its efficiency and durability. It is one of the most profitable types of scrap metal and can easily be found in homes or businesses. From old, outdated appliances and electronics, to plumbing and auto parts, there are many places to find scrap copper quickly and easily. This extremely durable metal is often used for wires as it does not lose its electrical connectivity over time. Unfortunately, this means that it does not break down with regular waste, which doesn’t take advantage of its longevity and needlessly fills up landfills.

Copper can be recycled repeatedly for massive environmental and economic benefits. Copper retains its performance despite being recycled multiple times making it an economical metal for a range of industries. The process of recycling copper not only produces less carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, but it requires less energy and effort than the costly process of extracting and refining raw, virgin iron. Using scrap metal to its full capacity by recovering copper and stripping the shielding from cables and wires, benefits businesses, the environment, and you.  

Looking to sell scrap copper in Melbourne?

To sell scrap copper, strip your copper wires of insulation and attachments and bundle them neatly together. By separating the copper wire from other scrap metals, the wiring is easy to transport and weigh which ensures you get the best price from Melbourne’s best metal recyclers.

With over 50 years of metal recycling expertise, Metal Men Recycling provides streamlined scrap metal recycling services to Melbourne. We take all the hard work of sorting and transporting out of the process with our 24-hour pickup service to benefit your business and the environment.

Whether you’re looking to sell scrap metal or would just like to learn more about our business to business metal recycling process, give us a call on 03 5941 6677 or fill out our online contact form.

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