Copper Wire Types and Scrap Metal Prices

Copper wire recycling in Los Angeles is a hot topic just as it is in other parts of the country.  Copper wire, also known as Cu cable is in high demand by scrap metal recycling yards. The price you get for recycling wire depends on the type.  Check out our scrap metal pricing page for more information various types of wire for recycling. Do you have wire you want to recycle as scrap? You need us to come pick it up?  Use TM Scrap Metal’s mobile recycling service.

Trying to recycle various types of wire can be quite an effort due to the obvious fact that many wires are coated in plastic and this plastic must be stripped from the wire before the metal is recycled. An L.A. recycling center such as TM Scrap Metals makes the process easier because we have the equipment designed to quickly strip lots of wire.  This is not something that most people have on hand so it’s better to bring your coated copper wire to us for stripping and recycling. In addition it’s a lot safer than trying to Strip the wire yourselves.  True, wire that has been stripped brings a higher price than coated copper wire for obvious reasons but how much time and effort are you going to spend on stripping wire yourself? Is it worth it? We think not.

Let’s break this down and use the example of 100 pounds of copper wire with coating, known as insulated copper wire. Let’s take the example of 12 gauge wire. When talking about recycling we need to keep in mind how much copper can be recovered from this type of wire. In this case it’s about 75%. Let’s say you took the time to strip this copper wire yourself. Out of the original hundred pounds you end up with 75 pounds of copper wire and 25 pounds of the plastic insulation. Stripped copper wire pays around a $1.90 per pound. Insulated wire taken to a recycling center as it is pays about $1.30 per pound. At those prices you get $130 for your insulated copper wire and $142 for the wire you stripped yourself. The difference is about $12.50, so does it make sense to strip the wire yourself? You decide.

Types of Wire for Recycling

Copper wire recycling Los Angeles
Copper wire recycling Los Angeles

Thinking about why are recycling? Here are a few of the different types of wires listed in order of the highest paying.

  1. Bare Bright Copper Wire is that which is not corroded or burne. It must be shiny in appearance. No contamination allowed and it must be thicker than 10 gauge. We’re talking around $3 or more per pound.       

 2) #1 Insulated Wire – this is copper wire that is 14 gauge or thicker. It has to have a copper recovery of 75% or higher. $2-3 range

3) #2 Insulated Wire is smaller than 16 gauge (about 1/16 inch) and needs a copper recovery of 55% – 79%. The copper wire may have a coating of nickel or tin. Pays about 60 cents to $1.60 per pound.

 4) Communication Wire – this is used in different electronic systems like mobile networking and telephones , cable TV, etc. It will pay from $1 to about $1.30 per pound.

Check out our scrap metal prices page for more info or call us at TM Scrap Metals for up-to-the-minute information.