The Most Consistently Valuable Scrap Metal And Unconventional Places To Find It
Other than the precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium, etc., copper remains one of the most valued recyclable metals out there.
However, finding copper that's not spoken for can be difficult. Everyone does not have access to abandoned homes, or industrial and commercial places that are being remodeled or torn down. These are places with an abundance of copper wire and plumbing fixtures.
So what's the point of searching for copper if it isn't available? Well, it turns out that there are still sources of copper wire, primed for recycling. However, these sources are a little unconventional.
Laptop Charging Bricks and PC Power Supplies
The power supply on a computer or laptop consists of a transformer plus some sort of rectifier to convert alternating current from the wall to DC power. The windings and conductors of these transformers are copper.
Laptop charging bricks can easily be busted or the wires can break, meaning they have to be replaced. Plus, businesses routinely replace their desktop PCs which also contain a similar power supply.
If you can find a good source of old computer hardware, you'll be set.
Automotive Starters and Alternators
In a car, the starter is an electric motor that uses energy from the battery to turn the crankshaft of the engine. Therefore, the insides of a motor starter consist of layers of copper windings. Another great thing about finding motor starters is that sometimes they still have the battery cables, which are usually a very thick gauge copper wire, attached.
The alternator, on the other hand, uses the power from the engine to generate electricity for the car's electrical system. It's basically the process of the motor starter in reverse and still requires loads of copper to achieve.
Tip: While you're under the hood, you might as well see if the vehicle still has its catalytic converter. That's certainly worth a nice chunk to the right recycler.
Freezers and Refrigerators
Copper is an excellent thermal conductor, better than aluminum. Along with copper's innate ductility, this fact makes it an excellent choice for the tubes that move coolant throughout a refrigerator or freezer.
Abandoned commercial refrigerators and freezers make the ideal candidates to examine. Mainly because of their usually larger size and sturdier build quality, which often translates to the cooling tubes within the device.
However, you can also usually get copper from home appliances that are often placed on the curb after being replaced.
Contact a scrap metal recycling center to learn more.