Copper recycling is a fairly prevalent trend, because of factors such as environmental awareness, as well as the fact that many facilities which recycle copper will pay for the material. Recycling centers often pay almost as much for used copper as newly mined copper costs, depending on its condition, because it is so expensive to mine. The easiest way to recycle copper is to find a local facility in your area that accepts scrap copper, since even small pieces of it can be recycled.
The first step in being able to recycle copper is to collect and save scrap copper in any form. Copper can be obtained from old electrical wiring, copper pipe from home remodels, and even auctions and rummage sales. If you are buying copper to sell to a recycling facility, make sure that you are buying it at a low price which will enable you to sell it for more later on.
It is important to recognize that different types and grades of copper have different values. For example, copper of the highest grade is clean and shiny, as opposed to tarnished, soldered, or coated copper. One easy way to increase the grade of copper you want to recycle is to strip the insulation off any scrap wiring in your collection. The insulation decreases the value of the copper because of the effort that must be taken to strip the wire once it is at the facility.
Coated copper is the least valuable of any grade, and it is usually worth it to strip the wire yourself to increase its value. In some cases this may not be true, such as when working with coaxial cable or telephone cords, because the actual copper may be very difficult to get to and only present in small amounts. Before going to recycle copper at a local facility, it may be wise to check the market price of copper, if you want to earn money from it. If the price is comparatively low, you may or may not want to wait for it to go up.
Is is always possible to recycle copper, no matter what its age is. Almost all items containing copper will be accepted by recyclers, but some exceptions apply. Some large appliances, such as refrigerators and freezers, contain copper, but some recycling facilities do not accept these, due to their size and the effort it takes to extract the metal.