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For almost five millennia, copper was said to be the only metal available on this planet of ours. First used by human civilisation over 10,000 years ago, global copper resources are estimated at around 5.8 trillion pounds.
The really interesting fact is that almost all of that copper is still in use today; that’s because copper’s recycling rate is greater than most other engineering metals. In fact, the amount of copper recycled almost amounts to the amount of new copper that is mined annually. This alone should demonstrate that there remains huge demand for copper, so there are many benefits of recycling your used copper. This article delves a little deeper into the positive effects of reusing copper.
No need for landfills
With household and commercial waste increasing year-on-year, there is undoubtedly an increased strain on landfill sites across the country. These holes in the ground are rapidly filling up and the cost of filling those left is rising. Rather than adding to the problem by disposing of your used copper in landfill, you can recycle it fully into another hard-wearing product.
Low-energy alternative to refining new copper
The recycling process for copper is said to use just 10-15% of the energy required to mine and extract new copper at source. In essence, it is better to recycle copper in order to conserve the world’s supply of fossil fuels. Even though only 12-13% of all known copper reserves have been mined, it makes complete sense to conserve the remaining ore for many generations to come.
Conservation of copper ore
As we’ve just stated, the conservation of copper ore is of paramount importance. Although we still have plenty in reserve to mine, copper ore is a finite resource and once it’s gone, it’s gone. We need to recycle as much copper as possible simply because we have enough copper already in use to meet current demand.
Cheaper than mining and extracting new copper
Although the cost of mining new copper is reportedly falling, it is still far cheaper to recycle old copper than it is to mine and extract new copper ore. The value of recycled copper is worth up to 90% of the cost of the original copper, so it certainly holds its value.
Great for local economies
The recycling of copper is also incredibly important to local economies across the country; it creates jobs throughout the entire recycling chain – from collecting copper scrap to the physical process of recycling it for reuse. At ASM Metal Recycling, our experienced, fully accredited team are employed to use only the latest processing technology for recycling both ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
Minimise toxins released into the wider environment
The refinement of new copper is toxic. Throughout the process, the waste emitted into the atmosphere could be considered harmful to the wider environment, which is why recycling copper – and its relatively safe process – makes for a more environmentally friendly option, minimising toxins and gases that damage our planet.
Copper is certainly one of the scrap metals that we recycle regularly at ASM Metal Recycling. We offer competitive prices for all used copper that can be recycled to help make future copper products cheaper for you to buy. Click here to discover more about the process of recycling, from clean unalloyed scrap and alloyed scrap into copper ready for reuse.