One of the best tools a scrapper can have is the knowledge that comes with experience in knowing where to look and where to find scrap metal for recycling. Copper is a hot commodity in the recycling business because its value has grown considerably in recent years. As a result, copper has become a prime target of scrap metal theft. It is important for scrappers to protect themselves and always get a signed “bill of sale” or other type of written agreement when collecting scrap copper from professional job sites, contractors or other businesses.
That being said, it can be very profitable if you can find a good source of scrap copper materials that you can turn into cash at your local recycling facility. This article will focus on the seven best places to find scrap copper in your local area. As with other types of scrap metal, the more networking you can do with local business owners and the more deals you can make to collect scrap metal items from people who don’t have the time or interest in doing it themselves, the more profitable your scrap metal business will become.
#1 – Plumbing Projects
While many plumbers are choosing to move to PVC pipes to prevent freezing in the northeastern states, many still use copper pipes for residential and commercial jobs. Copper pipes can be collected from plumbers directly or can be retrieved from home improvement jobs, repair jobs or remodeling sites. Water heater pipes are also typically made of copper materials. If you are replacing any pipes in your own home – or know of any friends or family members that are doing the same – hang onto those pipes and turn them in for a profit. Discarded hot water heaters can be stripped for copper parts. Don’t ever just bring in a hot water heater whole – make sure to remove the valuable metals from the not-so valuable metals for maximum profit.
#2 – Residential Remodeling Projects
Whether people are adding a room, upgrading a bathroom or re-doing a kitchen, chances are some copper scrap metal is going to be involved. Many scrappers have had luck in just walking onto a remodeling job site and offering to clean up all the scrap. Another way is to work directly with designers and contractors to gain access to these sites. Electrical wire, pipe and other parts commonly discarded during a home remodeling project can be chock full of copper and very valuable to a savvy scrapper.
#3 – Residential Decorating Projects
In addition to remodeling, home decor can also be a great source of copper. Copper is used in a number of different decorating elements, such as vases, statues, lawn ornaments and other types of art. Metal wall art is very popular today in the United States and while many homeowners are actively displaying it, others may already be growing tired of it and be ready to just scrap it. Again, work with professional decorators and other professionals who work directly with homeowners on home decorating projects.
#4 – Garage Sales, Yard Sales and Thrift Stores
All of these places can be great resources for scrap copper. Most times, people have no idea what type of metal is used to make the furniture, pots and pans, statues and other household items they own. Taking time to browse garage and yard sales on weekend mornings or visit local thrift shops in search of copper scrap metal can really pay off. You might pay a dollar or two for the item, but be able to sell it at the local recycling facility and double or triple your investment.
#5 – Unwanted Appliances
A quick peek in your local Penny Saver or Craigslist can yield a huge list of local residents, business owners and commercial property owners who want to simply get rid of old appliances – without having to pay pick-up fees. This can be a goldmine for scrappers who know what they’re looking for with regard to valuable metals in common household appliances. From refrigerators to air conditioning units, stoves to laundry equipment, there’s a lot of money to be made in collecting old appliances for copper scrap metal.
#6 – Roofing Projects
You might not be aware of this, but there’s a lot of copper in American rooftops. It is 100% recyclable and, as a result, is very friendly to the environment. Copper roofing accents help to increase the lifespan of a roof and have now been used for over 20 years. When you see someone working on a roofing project, it could really pay off to stop and see if they have any scrap copper that they don’t want. You can also try contacting roofing companies to see if they need someone to collect it for them on a regular basis. You might be able to make a sweet deal.
#7 – Pick-Your-Part Auto Parts
It might take you some time looking through an “ecology” or “pick-your-part” auto parts yard, but it can also really pay off big time – if you know what you’re looking for. Standard car parts, such as alternators and starters, can contain a good amount of copper scrap metal that can be stripped out and sold at your local recycling facility. Similar to the thrift shops and garage sales, you might invest a small amount into purchasing these parts, but they can double or triple your investment if you know your scrap metal business.
If you live in the Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island area and are looking for a place to sell your scrap copper, visit Mid-City Scrap Iron & Salvage. Conveniently located in Westport, MA, Mid-City has been serving customers in the Southcoast area for nearly 80 years. This family owned and operated business pays competitive rates for all sorts of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, helping local scrappers to make the most money for their efforts.