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How to recycle electrical wire

Updated February 21, 2017

Electrical wire will be present in many areas of your home, including electronics and household appliances. You might also have old electrical wire lying around because you're not sure how to dispose of it. You may feel tempted to simply throw it away. However, before you do, understand that electrical wire has several recyclable components. By recycling your electrical wire, instead of throwing it away, you're helping to create new materials and protect natural resources, such as copper, which is commonly found in electrical wires.

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  1. Contact your local council-run household recycling centre to ask if they recycle electrical wires. Electrical wire contains copper, which is valuable as scrap metal in quantity so most centres will accept old cables. Some will accept unstripped cables, while others will accept only stripped wires.

  2. Place the wire in the appropriately sized slot of your wire stripper if your recycling centre only accepts stripped wires or if you want to recycle the wire yourself.

  3. Clamp the wire strippers closed and rock the blade from one side to the other to cut the insulation. Do not cut through to the actual wire.

  4. Slide the tool up the wire and away from you to strip the wire. This will take off the insulation coating, leaving only the metal wire.

  5. Take the stripped wire to your local recycling centre or recycle it yourself. The insulation coating can be cut up with scissors and made into beads, and the wire can be used to make jewellery and other household crafts.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wire strippers

About the Author

J. Johnson

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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