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Why Recycling Electrical Wire Scrap can be a Lucrative Endeavor
December 20, 2013

 While recycling is not legally mandated, people should make it a habit not only for the sake of the environment and preservation of natural resources but as a way to augment the income. While recycling will not put thousands of dollars on your pockets, it can be a lucrative endeavor that will help you make ends meet. The home is literally a mine for recyclable items like electrical wire scrap, metal scrap, electronic devices and equipment including old and outdated clothing. Instead of leaving these recyclable items to add to the clutter, why not just drop them off to the nearest junk yard and help reduce the solid waste in the landfills? And with copper prices rising, it is definitely worth your efforts to consider electrical wire scrap, strip them off the insulation and have it recycled.

How to gain the most value from your electrical wire scrap

While many purveyors of electrical wire scrap receive it as it is with insulation or coating, you will gain a better deal if you strip of the insulation. If you choose to strip the wire, just put one end on a vice, use a sharp knife or a razor and strip it like you are peeling a carrot. If you know of someone who owns a wire stripper, the job can be done in just a few minutes leaving you with copper to sell. However, burning insulation is usually against municipal regulations so you need to dispose of it properly. When you take your electrical wire scrap for recycling, make sure you bring along an identification card with a picture since it also common practice for copper wire thieves to bring their electrical wire scrap to the junk yards.

How to tell the difference between copper and aluminum wires

- Aluminum has always been used for wiring because of its electric conductivity, low weight and good resistance to corrosion. Aluminum has replaced copper wires for transmission systems, power systems, electric lights, motors and appliances. The National Electric Code has provided for specifications in the use of aluminum wiring but usually it is larger compared to electrical wiring.

- Aluminum is lighter in weight, more flexible and more cost effective than copper wires and it can be just as safe as copper wires when properly installed for electrical wiring.

- While aluminum wires are now used extensively, they are not as good as copper wires. Aluminum wires when it comes into contact with certain metals have the tendency to oxidize and corrode.

- Copper is safer and more fireproof compared to aluminum wires and neither do copper wires expand and contract according to temperature. Due to these risk factors, copper remains to be preferred in electrical systems even if it tends to be more expensive.

- The high demand for copper makes electrical wire scrap a common recyclable material. While aluminum scrap can be sold to junkyards, it does not command the same prices as the copper wires. Make sure though that you are updated with the current prices of copper wire scrap to gain the best deal.