Common Types of Cable Scrap
The types of cable you find will depend on your field and the kind of jobs you perform. The most common scrap wire types that we see at the scrap yard include:
- Communications cable. Also called cat 5 or cat 6, this type of cable consists of paired copper wires with an exterior PVC coating. These wires may be used for phone or data networks.
- Housewire. This type of cable, also known by its brand name Romex®, is copper wire with two jacket coatings. As the name implies, it is mainly used for electrical wiring in homes.
- THHN. With solid copper inside, THHN is the most valued of the insulated copper wires. It is also known as spaghetti wire or 10-14 gauge wire, and its thermoplastic high heat nylon (THHN) coating makes it suited for wiring electrical systems.
- Fire wire. Frequently coated in red PVC, this cable is used for fire alarm systems and contains copper wire.
Sources of Scrap Cable
Businesses that upgrade, remove and install wiring may decide to recycle their scrap cable to improve their companies’ bottom line. Their industries include:
- Renovation and remodeling contractors
- Network engineers
- IT service providers
- Electrical technicians and contractors
Scrap Cable Price
There are a few factors that will impact your price when you recycle your scrap cable. Before you load up your cable and search for cable scrap yards near you, consider the following:
- Scrap market. Your scrap cable price will depend on the market price of the metals contained within the wires, like copper. Markets are always in flux, so your price may vary between visits.
- Cable variety. The ratio and kind of metal in your cables varies by type. For instance, THHN has a higher ratio of copper to coating than housewire does, and will therefore get a higher price. Because your scrap cable estimate will be by weight, sorting your cables will help you get the best price.
- Condition. If your scrap cable has extra weight like plastic ends or added coating, that will reduce its value. Some choose to strip their scrap cable down to the wire to get the bare wire price, but this is time intensive and may not be cost effective.
At Gardner Metal Recycling, we offer a variety of services to help businesses save money with scrap metal recycling. Contact us today to get a free quote on your cable scrap or to learn how to set up a commercial recycling program for your company.