With most people becoming more environmentally conscious, households and commercial companies are exerting more effort in lessening their contribution to landfill sites. Instead of making our landfill problems worse, recycling has increased. According to the Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs, the recycling rate of waste from households increased in 2017 to 45.7 per cent. The target recycling rate in all UK counties by 2020 is at least 50 per cent of household waste.
One of the most valuable materials that can be recycled is used copper. The main demand for copper can be broken down into three main sectors: electrical (65 per cent), construction (25 per cent) and transport (7 per cent) with 3 per cent used in other sectors. Copper has many amazing properties, but one significant characteristic is that it doesn’t degrade or lose its quality, even after multiple rounds of recycling. The metal can be recycled so many times that the copper we are using today could be from deposits extracted over a thousand years ago.
Copper is a nonferrous metal. Other than silver, copper is the best conductor of electricity and is also one of the most valuable recycled materials aside from gold.
Why should we recycle copper?
Copper is the least abundant metal in nature, which is why it’s important to maximise its recycling. Some estimates claim that around 3/4 of all copper products are manufactured using recycled resources. According to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG), about 50 per cent of the copper used in Europe comes from recycling. Copper recycling is crucial to meet Europe’s increasing demand for copper.
Aside from the preservation of this valuable material, copper recycling can help in reducing the emissions and energy used for mining and refining newly extracted copper. Mining and refining copper produces a lot of dust and waste, which damages the environment unless strictly managed in compliance with environmental regulations.
Uses of Scrap Copper
When scrap copper is dumped in a landfill instead of being recycled, a source of income is thrown away. Scrap copper is needed for the following sectors:
When it comes to wires, cables and electronic copper is still the most popular choice over other metals because of its exceptional electrical conductivity. Electronics that use copper scrap include microwave ovens, heat exchangers and heat sinks. Copper is mostly used for electrical wiring such as communications cable, building wire, and power distribution cable.
Copper is one of the materials that is extensively used in Architecture. Copper’s lightning protection and malleability make it a popular choice in building expansion joints, wall claddings, and indoor plumbing.
Copper in car components includes wiring in windscreen defrosters and window and mirror controls, hydraulic lining and various fittings and fasteners. Hybrid and electrical cars have significantly increased demand for copper.
Copper is a valuable material that can be used in numerous applications, which is why need to take advantage of its ability to maintain its quality after being recycled.
Manage your scrap copper with LKM Recycling
Recycle your scrap copper through our total waste management solutions. We collect,purchase, and recycle non-ferrous metals from businesses. Get in touch with us today on 01795 439393.