How to Assess Scrap Copper & Brass Sales Value for Recycling

Everyone knows that you can earn a bit of cash when you recycle plastic bottles and tin cans. These are the most commonly recycled items around the county, but the money earned isn’t very significant. What many forget about is the scrap copper & brass sales value when they are sold for recycling. These two metals are very valuable and many junk shops pay a good price to get your “trash” off your hands.

A Big Pile of Scrap Copper & Brass on a Junk Yard Ready for Recycling

The Magnet Test

The first step into metal recycling is to know if what you have is a ferrous or non-ferrous metal. This is very easy to do with the help of a magnet. Simply bring a piece of magnet close to the metal to see if it sticks. If the magnet sticks, you have a ferrous metal, most probably either steel or iron which aren’t very valuable. However, if the magnet does not stick to the metal, you probably have a non-ferrous piece that can be worth a lot when recycled.

Two of the most valued scrap metals are copper & brass pieces. Here’s more information about the copper & brass recycling and how to take advantage of it:

Copper Scraping 101

Copper and brass are different in many aspects. First of all, copper is considered as a true metal and most copper pieces have the same composition: copper. Brass on the other hand is a type of alloy made with a mix of copper, zinc, and other compounds. Since copper scrap is pure, scrap yards put more value in them. In fact, they are the most valued and highly priced scrap metal all over the country.

Before you get excited about recycling the copper tubes and wires you have at home, you also need to learn about copper classification. Most junk shops will segregate the scrap copper you bring into two categories: #1 copper and #2 copper. What this basically means is #1 copper are pipes that are clean of solder, brass, and other components. #2 copper are tubes and pipes that have solder or other brass fittings.

Although it can be hard for a novice to spot the differences immediately, it helps to know these small details so you don’t get tricked into selling your scrap copper for less. Keep these in mind because when copper is in good condition, it has a lot of value.

Brass Scraping 101

As mentioned before, brass is a type of metal alloy made mostly with copper and zinc. Sometimes it can also have iron and other components to add strength or to enhance its machinability. Brass pipes and tubes are commonly used for plumbing and they are valued for their ability to withstand corrosion, excellent heat conductivity, and durability. Although brass has many of these amazing qualities, it is not as highly prized as copper because it is not “pure”.

Just like copper, there are two types of copper with one being more valuable than the other. Yellow brass has lesser value because it contains more zinc than copper. Red brass which has a higher copper content has a higher price per pound in scrap yards. They are very easy to sort out by sight due to the striking color difference.

Why Choose to Recycling Copper & Brass?

Aside from the obvious extra cash for trading in your junk, there are other reasons to recycle metals and alloys like copper and brass. First, it does help cut down carbon emissions because it takes less energy to recycle than it does to dig for virgin ores. Second, recycled copper and brass cost less to make so they also cost less when bought. Third, it is the responsible thing to do because there is no room inside landfills. Cut down on waste and start recycling. It is the first step in making metal use more sustainable.


How to Recycle Metal,
Difference Between Copper & Brass Scrap,

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