Metal and scrap recycling is big business these days, and small businesses have been created around scrap collection. The scrap can come from many sources, but the non-ferrous metals offer the best returns because they are often worth more to a non-ferrous copper recycler.
Non-Ferrous Or Not
Non-ferrous metals are metals that never lose their chemical properties, no matter how much reprocessing or reuse they go through. Copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, and nickel are all non-ferrous metals that are found in things you use every day.
Non-ferrous copper recycling is popular, and the copper can come from pipes, insulated copper wire, or other sources. Because the copper doesn't change during recycling and reprocessing, it can reduce the amount of copper ore that needs to be mined and is considered a renewable resource.
Finding Non-Ferrous Metal
Most recycling buyers pay more for copper than other metals, so making some money recycling it is not difficult. Finding large quantities of copper is not easy because it is so popular to recycle, but if you can connect with a demolition contractor that is tearing down a house, you might be able to haul away all the non-ferrous materials then recycle them for a profit.
Talk to the contractor about getting into the house before the demo crew starts working. You can remove the copper wire, copper pipes, and any other materials that you find before the house is a pile of rubble. Once the house is demolished, it is much harder to find the metal and remove it safely, but accessing ahead of time can solve that.
You may also find metal in cleanout jobs, so advertising to clean up a yard and remove the scrap could be an excellent way to generate some income and discover all the copper you want for recycling.
When you are ready to take your copper to a non-ferrous metal recycling center, make sure you remove any insulation from wire, steel fasteners from any plumbing materials, and generally make sure that the copper is actually copper. The recycling center will look over the material to determine the grade and the value then weigh it carefully.
If there is any other metal mixed into the load, the recycler may reduce the value and rate it as mixed metal. If you have several different non-ferrous metals to recycle, take separate trips to ensure you get the highest value for the material.
Monitoring the copper market can help you select the best days to take the copper and other metals to the non-ferrous recycling center to get the best price. Call the recycler to get the price they are paying that day, and when the price has gone up, take the copper in and sell it. Look for a local center that offers non-ferrous copper recycling like American Scrap Metal Services.