Austin Copper Pipe Recycling
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Millions upon millions of tons of metal are recycled every year—over 50 million metric tons of iron and steel alone. Recycling metal is great for the environment as it cuts down dramatically on the amount of virgin ore that needs to be mined every year.
Scrap metal comes from many different sources—ewaste (phones, computers, etc.), construction sites, and metal shops, to name a few. They come in all varieties of shapes and sizes. While steel is the most recycled scrap metal in the world, it is not the most valuable. That distinction goes to copper.
You might think that gold or silver would be the most valuable scrap metals, and technically you would be right. However, gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals are very hard to come by in large amounts. Because copper is more abundant than precious metals, and has so many applications, it is the most valuable in a practical sense.
Because copper offers excellent corrosion resistance, it is a perfect metal to use for water supply lines. Copper pipe is a great metal to recycle, both for environmental reasons and economic reasons.
Types of Copper Pipe
The differences between the two main types of copper pipes have less to do with their molecular structure and more to do with their condition. Knowing how to sort the two can get you more money for your copper pipe when you take it to be recycled. The differences between the two types of copper pipe are very easy to figure out.
#1 Copper Pipe
#1 copper pipe is the more valuable of the two. #1 copper pipe is as clean as it can be. It contains no solder or paint and has no other metals attached to it. #1 copper pipe is generally from a new cutting. It was more than likely used for gas, air or water.
#2 Copper Pipe
#2 copper pipe is pretty much the opposite of #1. It is dirty, tarnished, contains bits of solder and or paint, and has gunk on the inside of it. The effort it takes to get #2 pipes into a usable condition takes away from its value in the recycling market.
Typically, #2 goes for about $.10-$.20 per pound less than #1.
When you take your copper pipe in to be recycled, there are a few different ways that you can go about it. You can separate your #1 and #2 copper pipes, and be paid based on their different valuations. Another way would be to have them together and be paid the split difference. For example, hypothetically, if the prices for #1 and #2 were $1.70 and $1.50 respectively, you would receive $1.60 per pound for your copper pipes.
If your #2 pipes have brass attached, it will bring the value of those pipes down. Brass/copper mixes will reduce the value of your #2 copper pipes by $.20-$.40 per pound.
Where to Find Copper Pipe
There are many places to find copper pipes. If you are doing a home renovation simply use an electronic stud finder equipped with metal detection and deep scanning capabilities. Don’t use a stud finder that relies on detection by magnetism. Copper is a nonferrous metal, and won’t be detected by such a stud finder. A good stud finder can also help differentiate between copper pipes and electrical wiring.
Because copper pipes are recessed around two inches beneath the drywall, they can sometimes be difficult to detect. This is why you need the stud finding with the deep scanning mode.
Using a sawzall will help you cut through the copper pipe. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, simply hire a reliable demolition and clearing crew and make sure your scrap metal is being recycled responsibly. Gardner Metal Recycling has you covered.
Pricing for Copper Pipes
Like any commodity, the price of copper can fluctuate as it reacts to market conditions. Just as stocks conform to the laws of supply and demand, so too do copper and other valuable metals.
The best way to get reliable, up-to-date information on copper and other valuable scrap metals is to contact your local metal recycling company. They will be able to answer any questions you might have regarding pricing, what they do and don’t accept and how to sort your scrap. You can also sign up for our metal price alert newsletter to have pricing updates sent straight to your inbox.
Recycling Copper Pipe in Austin
Austin is a rapidly expanding city. There is more housing and commercial real estate being built here than ever before. With the increase in real estate development comes an increase in recyclable scrap metal.
Gardner Metal Recycling offers the most competitive pricing for all of your copper pipes, tubing and wiring in the Austin area. We offer a number of recycling services including demolition and clearing, scrap metal pickup and scrap metal container rental.
To learn more about scrap metal pricing, container rental, demolition and clearing services—as well as the many other services we offer—contact Gardner Metal Recycling for a consultation.