different types of scrap copper

Copper comes in many different types and grades depending on its purity level and manufacturing process. As a scrap metal recycling company, it is important for Metro Copper Recycling to understand different copper categories. This helps ensure the proper sorting and recycling of scrap copper. 

This blog post discusses the main types of copper and scrap copper categories. It highlights all forms of copper and scrap categories. The importance of scrap copper recycling and how customers can recycle their scrap copper through Metro.

All Scrap Copper Categories

When delivering scrap copper for recycling, it is important to understand the key categories. This ensures customers receive the highest price for scrap copper properly. 

By learning about these different copper types, customers can easily identify the category of their scrap copper materials before contacting Metro for recycling or pickup. Understanding copper types also helps businesses and individuals properly prepare their copper scrap for disposal.

Bare Bright Copper

Bare bright copper refers to clean and shiny copper scrap that is free of insulation, coatings or other contaminants. It includes items like copper pipe, tubing, radiators and bare copper electrical cable. As the most valuable form of scrap copper, bare bright copper commands the highest price per pound from recyclers like Metro. 

This is because it requires minimal processing effort since it can be easily identified as pure copper through visual inspection. Recycling bare bright copper not only provides businesses and homeowners with the best value for their scrap but also allows highly pure copper to be recovered and redirected back into new manufacturing processes.

Bare Bright Copper

#1 Scrap Copper

The #1 scrap copper grade refers to mixed copper scrap that contains over 25% copper content by weight. Items that typically fall into this category include unstripped wires, small machinery, switches and other household scrap with a predominance of copper material. 

While #1 scrap copper contains contaminants like insulation, plating or other metals mixed in, it still maintains a significant copper composition that makes remelting and recovering the copper economically viable. Metro Copper provides all types of Scrap Copper Pick Up Services in Melbourne.

#1 Scrap Copper

#2 Scrap Copper

Items categorized as #2 scrap copper have copper content between 5-25% by weight, with the remainder consisting of other contaminating metals and materials. Wires, cables and electrical components containing small amounts of copper sheathing or wiring would generally be classified as #2 scrap copper.

While the copper value recoverable from #2 scrap is lower than brighter grades, recycled loads still have a monetary value when processed at large volumes. Customers receive fair prices from Metro for mixed loads dominated by #2 copper scrap. Get in touch with us for copper recycling and get the best price for scrap copper in Melbourne.

#2 Scrap Copper

#1 Insulated Wire

Wire and cable coated in plastic or rubber insulation make up the #1 insulated copper wire category. Items such as Romex, THHN, and other building wires with predominately copper content fall under this classification. 

While the insulation covering needs to be removed through stripping or granulating processes, the copper wire can still be effectively remelted and recycled after further processing. To receive top pricing, #1 insulated wire should be kept clean and dry without contamination from other trash or metals. With decades of experience, Metro Copper Recycling provides competitive scrap wire prices in Melbourne that homeowners and businesses can depend on. 

#1 Insulated Wire

#2 Insulated Wire

Wire and cable with lower copper composition between 5-25% by weight and dominated by insulation material is classified as #2 insulated copper wire. 

Examples include insulated speaker wire, low voltage thermostat wire, and communications cables where the insulation makes up the bulk volume. While not as profitable to recycle on an individual basis, bulk volumes of #2 insulated wire processed at recycling plants can still release recoverable amounts of copper. 

This diverts usable materials away from disposal and back into new products through copper reclamation. Proper separation of wire types aided efficient recycling of all copper-containing infrastructure materials.

Copper #2 Insulated Wire

The Importance of Scrap Copper Recycling

Recycling scrap copper benefits both people and the planet. When processing copper scrap, can recover over 95% of the available copper content – which is then reused to manufacture new copper products. 

This supports a sustainable materials cycle where scrap becomes a valuable resource rather than waste. Recycling one tonne of copper saves enough energy to power the average Australian home for three months. It also prevents 8 times the pollution that would be created by mining and processing an equivalent amount of new copper. 

By partnering with companies like Metro, households and businesses play an active role in environmental protection by diverting copper from landfills. Recycling copper scrap also bolsters the economy, creating local jobs and valuable commodities from materials that would otherwise be discarded.

Recycle Your Scrap Copper with Metro

Metro Copper Recycling makes it easy for households and commercial operators to participate in copper recycling. With bin drop-off and free pickup services available across greater Melbourne, customers can simply book a collection and have their valuable scrap removed at no cost. 

Metro provides fair cash payments determined by copper market rates and scrap grades. Through quick service and competitive prices, Metro ensures recycling copper waste is a financially rewarding choice for everyone. 

Whether it’s some old wiring, plumbing off-cuts or industrial machinery – Metro is ready to take all scrap copper off your hands. By choosing to recycle with experienced professionals, consumers can feel good knowing their scrap is being recycled sustainably.


In conclusion, many different grades and categories of copper scrap require proper identification and sorting for effective recycling. By understanding key terms like bare bright copper, #1 copper and insulated wire grades, consumers can maximize the value recovered for their copper waste.

Metro Copper Recycling plays an important role in Melbourne’s circular economy by processing scrap copper and supporting the reuse of this high-value material. Through utilizing Metro’s convenient drop-off and collection options, households and commercial clients actively contribute to sustainability goals while being rewarded financially.

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