One Man's Junk Is Another Man's... Copper Wire Recycling Treasure Hunt

Posted on: 11 June 2021

According to the American Psychiatric Association, 2–6% of the population in the United States are considered as having a hoarding disorder. Most people are repulsed by the amount of junk hoarders accumulate, but some people look at the hoards of junk and remember the old saying: one man's junk is another man's treasure. Sure, a lot of it should be thrown away, but there may be valuable copper that can be sold for cash. 

Whether you are a landlord dealing with a tenant who hoards, a concerned family member of a hoarder, or someone interested in starting a business cleaning up hoarded homes, here's what you should know about copper wire recycling.

1. Copper Is Valuable

Copper has been called the poor man's gold for a reason. It's valuable and useful because it conducts heat and electricity. With the push towards green energy, copper is increasing in value. Wind generators and electric vehicles need copper. While copper ore can be mined for these uses, recycling copper is more affordable and better for the environment because it's processed much easier. 

2. Copper Is Non-Ferrous

Copper, by nature, is non-ferrous, which means it doesn't contain any iron. Iron is ferrous. Sometimes, however, copper may be coated or mixed with iron and that will make it ferrous copper. You can tell the difference by placing a magnet near the copper. If it reacts to the magnet, it's ferrous. Non-ferrous copper is not magnetic.

Therefore, when you are going through the items while cleaning out a hoarded property, keep a magnet in your pocket so you can easily stop and check to see if the copper you are discovering is ferrous or non-ferrous. When you find items containing non-ferrous copper and other scrap metals, put them off to the side in a pile along with appliances, electronics, and power cords to go through and dismantle later. 

3. Insulated Copper Wires Can Be Stripped

Don't forget to pull insulated copper wires and cables out of appliances and electronics that you find in the hoard. You can strip the insulation off of the copper to help increase the value of the copper and what the recycler will give you for your recycling efforts. Stripping wires and cables can seem time-consuming but can go more swiftly if you have the proper tools for stripping wires. 

This is just a basic overview of the process. Contact copper wire recycling services to learn more.