If you’ve been scrapping in Dallas for a while, you likely already know that copper is in high demand—meaning that you get more money per pound for your copper recycling than for almost anything else when it comes time to bring your materials into the yard.
Even if you aren’t yet a scrapper, you’ve likely heard at least one off-the-wall story about copper thieves stealing materials, especially copper wire. In two different cities, copper thieves actually succeeded in tearing out parts of underground power lines, leaving thousands of residents without power.
Whether you’ve been scrapping for years or you just hear about copper prices, sales, or thefts now and again, you’ve likely wondered why copper is so valuable and sought-after. We have the answers—and tips on how to recycle copper easily and legally yourself!
Copper is Easy to Recycle
Most metals are at least a little easier to recycle than they are to mine, but copper is perhaps the easiest for recycling facilities to deal with. Copper doesn’t lose any of its useful characteristics even after it has been recycled many times, meaning that manufacturers know recycled copper is always safe and useful.
Believe it or not, over 80% of the copper ever mined is still in use today!
Copper is Incredibly Versatile
Copper has been used for a wide variety of tasks throughout human history due to its versatility. On its own, it can be easily shaped and pounded flat without damage, making it perfect for decorative uses. It has been used in this way for thousands of years.
On top of that, when blended with other metals, it can create highly useful alloys such as brass, nickel, and bronze. The first forging of bronze was hugely influential in human history, allowing ancient civilizations to create much more complex and durable structures, tools, and weapons.
Although copper is still used in decoration and the creation of alloys today, its biggest use is probably in electrical wiring. In addition to being easy to make into almost any shape, it is incredibly conductive, meaning that electricity travels through it easily.
These two characteristics together mean that almost every electrical device—from your phone or laptop charger to huge power lines—contains copper.
The biggest legal recyclers of copper are construction companies, electricians, plumbers, and people remodeling their homes. If you ever do electrical or plumbing work, or have any done at your house, don’t throw out any old wiring or piping, as it most likely contains valuable copper!
You can also easily and legally get recyclable copper out of old home electronics, from computers and stereo systems to major appliances like air conditioning units. Be sure all power is cut off to these things before trying to dismantle them, and wear proper safety equipment. If you don’t feel comfortable dismantling such things yourself, you can always bring complete electronics and appliances to Encore Recyclers too!