With all its many uses and applications, copper is a surprisingly valuable metal when sold as scrap. The act of recovering and recycling old copper can therefore be a good way to make a little extra cash while doing your part to prevent waste. Old copper can be found in a myriad of places, but if often hides in plain sight. Knowing how this metal is used will help you know where to look when recovering it.
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Look for copper in old household fittings. Copper is commonly used in pipes and other plumbing fixtures. If you can, safely and legally recover these items from a demolition site or save them from a remodelling project.
Remove copper from old appliances. Many household electrical appliances, such as washing machines, microwaves and dryers, contain electrical wiring and coils that can be salvaged for recycling. However, avoid refrigerators and air conditioners: though these appliances contain copper, they also contain dangerous chemical gasses, which can be released during any attempts to dismantle them.
Recycle copper from old electrical wiring. This, too, can be salvaged from repair and demolition work, but always be certain only to handle wiring that you are positive is no longer connected to any power source.
Find household objects and decorations made from copper. Common items made from copper include pots, kettles, spigots on some beverage dispensers and decorative pieces or sculptures. If you don't find these items in your own home, local garage and jumble sales may sometimes be offering them for prices lower than the value of the metal as scrap.
Recover copper from old automobiles. Though copper is certainly not the only metal with recycling and scrap sale value in old cars, it can be found in abundance in engine parts.
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