Once you learn how to identify scrap metal and can tell the more valuable types of scrap from the more common and less valuable, chances are you will begin to actively seek out certain types of scrap metal while you are out doing your rounds. Copper is perhaps the top type of scrap metal that scrappers are out looking for these days. With copper in such high demand, the prices have been hovering at a range that is much higher than it has ever been. Learning where to find scrap copper and also get the best copper prices in Massachusetts will help you to maximize your earning potential when you collect scrap metal in New Bedford or anywhere else in the South Coast region.
The Different Types of Scrap Copper
Copper comes in many different forms. It also can be found in some pretty unusual places where you might not expect it to be used. Copper can be found in what is known as solids, copper wire, copper breakage and copper alloy. Copper alloy is a type of metal that combines valuable copper with other types of metals to create a unique type of metal. Because it includes copper it is more valuable than other non-copper alloys, but not as valuable as pure copper in other forms.
- COPPER SOLIDS – There are three unique “grades” of copper solids that can be sold to your local scrap metal recycling facility. Grade one includes copper solids, such as tubing, punchings, busbars, copper clippings, commutator segments and wire that is more than one-sixteenth of an inch in thickness. Grade two describes copper solids that are unalloyed and at least 96 percent copper, such as copper tubing that as connections that are not copper or sediment coating the inside, burned wire, hair wire or copper wire that contains insulation. Grade three includes copper solids that are less than a sixteenth of an inch in thickness.
- COPPER WIRE – There are two different types of copper wire that are separated by the number of insulation layers for each grade. Wire that has a single layer of insulation is described as high-grade copper wire, while wire that has a double layer of insulation is described as lower-grade copper wire.
- COPPER ALLOY – The two most common types of copper alloys are bronze and brass, which are also valuable in their own right. Other alloys are even more rare, such as monel, iconel and cupronickel, all of which will pay out more than the more common bronze and brass.
- COPPER BREAKAGE – This term is used to describe copper that is broken away from materials or parts that are over 20 pounds. Separating copper from steel in starters, alternators, electric motors, transformers and even other types of scrap power supplies would count as copper breakage.
Tips for Getting the Best Copper Prices in Massachusetts
As you go around and collect scrap metal in New Bedford or wherever your hunting grounds may be, it is important to identify scrap metal based on the type, grade and quality so you will be able to get the best price at the local scrap metal recycling facility. For example, separate your copper into the categories spelled out above to make sure that you get paid a higher price for the higher quality and that your collected metals don’t get lumped into one lower-paying category by default.
Do as much work on your end as possible to improve the quality of the metal that you are recycling. For example, if the joints of the copper pipe have been soldered, cut them out. You will get more money for copper that hasn’t been altered or contaminated in this way. Break away copper from other metals, such as steel or iron, to ensure that you get paid the proper value for the copper part of the equation.
BONUS TIP – Store your copper finds in bins or barrels in a storage area until you have at least 20 pounds of copper. You will make more money if you have bulk copper than if you just have a couple of scraps. You can also call in to the scrap metal recycling facility to find out what the current going rate of copper is. In fact, you should stay on top of those numbers. If the price drops for some reason, consider holding on to your copper until the price becomes more favorable again.
Where to Find Scrap Copper in the South Coast Area
If you live in Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, there are certain places where you can go to find scrap copper. Please note that because copper is so well-known for holding a higher value than most other common metals, you will need to keep track of where and when you get your scrap copper. It isn’t just about where to find scrap copper that you need to be concerned with, you just don’t want to be accused of stealing it from a job site or other unauthorized location. Get a signed receipt for delivery whenever possible, even if it’s just on a store-bought receipt book that you make up yourself to keep track.
Some places to collect scrap metal in New Bedford and beyond include:
- plumbing projects
- residential and commercial remodeling projects
- decorating projects
- garage sales, yard sales and thrift stores
- discarded, broken or otherwise unwanted appliances
- roofing projects
- pick-your-part auto supply stores
Use local resources to collect old appliances and other objects, such as Craigslist, the Penny Saver and other publications. Post notices that you will provide FREE pick-up services of appliances and other junk so you can strip out the copper and separate other metals to sell at the local scrap metal recycling facility. To know where to find scrap copper you need to learn how to identify scrap metal and learn about all the best places to collect scrap metal in New Bedford, Westport, Fall River, Providence or even out on the Cape.
Mid City Scrap Offers the Best Copper Prices in Massachusetts
Call or stop by Mid City Scrap Iron & Salvage in Westport, MA to sell your scrap metals and get the best copper prices in Massachusetts. Our family owned and operated facility has been serving residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers for nearly 80 years. We buy and process both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, providing our customers with the best market prices for scrap copper, steel, iron, aluminum and all other scrap metals. Check out our website for a full listing of operational hours, schedules and for tips on how our scrap yard works – a great way to help new scrappers become acquainted with the business. Bring your scrap metal to Mid City Scrap today!