Grading Copper For Greater Recycling Profits

Posted on: 2 January 2019

Scrap metal collection can be a simple way to boost your income. Many recycling centers accept metal and metal alloys in exchange for monetary compensation.

Copper is among the most profitable of all the metals you can recycle. The quality of the copper that you bring in can affect its value, so it's a good idea to become familiar with the copper grading process so that you can collect the most valuable metals possible in the future.

#2 Copper

The least desirable type of copper is referred to as #2 copper. This type of metal will typically have a somewhat dirty appearance. This can be the result of another type of metal being mixed with the copper to create an alloy, the existence of paint or other finishes on the surface of the copper, and copper that has been coated with a protective substance.

You can still make money by recycling #2 copper, it is just the least valuable of all copper types.

#1 Copper

Copper that is slightly more desirable than #2 copper is graded as #1 copper. These metals have more value than #2 copper because they are free of contaminants. No alloys are graded as #1, only pure copper materials.

Metals in the #1 category must be free from insulation, coatings, paint, solder, and fittings in order to facilitate the recycling process. If you focus your efforts on the collection of #1 copper, you can increase the amount of money that you generate through metal recycling.

Bare Bright Copper

It is rare to source bare bright copper when searching for scrap metal, since this grade of copper has the most value. You can identify bare bright copper by its shiny appearance. There will be no coatings or alloys present within coppers that are graded as bare and bright.

Bare bright copper must be thin and free from any visible oxidation as well. You can find copper tubing on construction sites that qualifies as a bare bright metal, so you should consider forming an alliance with construction companies in your area if you want to increase the amount of money you generate through scrap metal recycling.

Grading copper is important when it comes to determining the value of this metal. All copper can be recycled for a profit, but copper products that are graded as #1 or bare bright copper will give you the greatest return when it comes to scrap metal recycling. Visit a site like for more information.