There are many reasons to recycle copper and because copper is one of the most recyclable of all non-ferrous metals, it makes sense to send scrap copper off to your local recycling company. The benefits of recycling also far outweigh any disadvantages.
Even though only about 12% of worldwide copper resources have been mined, recycling is important because it requires much less energy use than the mining and refining process. Using less energy also works in favor of the environment because there are less CO2 emissions in the recycling process. Using less CO2 means less pollution and greenhouse gases being trapped within the atmosphere.
Water is integral to the mining and refining process. From the very beginning of the mining procedure, water is used to help break down the ore. Water is also used during the smelting and refining process for different operations. Recycling copper requires much less water than either the mining or refining activity. Because water is one of the Earth’s most important resources, it is important to use only what is necessary.
Mining and purifying copper produces high levels of dust and gases. Sulfur dioxide is one such gas and its effects on the environment can be very harmful. Many new procedures in the refining process help to reduce the production of these poisonous gases, however, recycling produces little to no damaging gases.
Many times, landfills end up being the final resting place of scrap copper and its related alloy products. Costs associated with maintaining landfills are incredibly high and ultimately the earth can only support so many of these areas. Because copper is so highly recyclable, it seems ludicrous that any copper waste would end up in a dump. In fact, dumping waste copper in a landfill is often more expensive than recycling it.
From a purely economic standpoint, the costs associated with recycling copper is much less than the cost of mining and refining it. The cost of recycled copper is roughly 10% less than newly refined copper. Using recycled copper helps keep the overall price of different products that utilize copper lower. In the end, this is good for consumers and helps bring about economic growth.
One final benefit of recycling copper is the personal financial gain that many can recognize. Simply bringing a 5-gallon bucket full of used copper into a recycling plant can put a sizable amount of money into your pocket.
Recycling and reusing scrap copper is important for stimulating economic growth and protecting the environment. Recycling copper scrap also benefits people individually by providing a means for them to make extra money. The business of recycling copper is growing daily and it’s an easy way to make extra money.