Basic Facts About Copper and Copper Recycling

Green recycle logoCopper is not only a non-ferrous metal; the industry likewise values it as the greatest conductor of electricity in the non-precious metal category. Silver is the only other metal that has greater conductive properties.

Copper retains up to 90 per cent of its original value. This is why copper scrap metal is one of the basic targets for several collectors. McCamish Metals shares some basic facts about it:

  • The usage of copper spanned 10,000 years back, meaning people used it longer than other metals.
  • In Northern Iraq, historians found a copper pendant dated around 8,700 B.C.
  • The Neolithic man started using copper around 8,000 B.C. as an alternative to stone.
  • By 4,000 B.C., the Egyptians moulded and heated cast copper to form shapes.
  • The Bronze Age began around 3,500 B.C. when people started smelting ores.
  • The Romans got their copper from the Island of Cypress, which they called Cyprium – translated as the metal of Cyprus. They later shortened the name into 'cuprum' where the English term copper originated.
  • The copper recycling process needs less energy compared to the new copper processing from virgin ore. This means it saves around 85 to 90 per cent of the energy requirements.
  • The industry recovered about 34 per cent of domestic copper from recycled material, while the rest produced from newly mined ore. Whilst newly refined copper mostly produces wire supply, other sectors use almost two-thirds of the amount. The industry includes foundries, ingot makers, and brass and copper mills.
  • More than half of recycled scrap copper is used in new scrap recovery, such as machine turning and chips. Meanwhile, others recover old post-consumer junk, including plumbing tubes, electrical tables and old radiators.
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If you are considering the copper metal recycling venture, the facts listed here will help you gain more insight about the industry. Use this information to make the right decisions.