Many homeowners are surprised to hear that they can actually make quite a bit of money from some of the materials that are already laying around their houses. Copper is especially valuable, and you could have more than you think. If you would like to make some extra cash, then it might be worth it to spend a little bit of time searching your home for recyclable copper.
Many old electronic devices are very difficult to recycle because they take quite a bit of time to break down and are often filled with some toxic materials. That being said, getting the copper out yourself could be relatively easy. Older TVs and computer displays generally have copper spools and wires that can quickly be taken out with nothing more than some basic tools. If you can’t find any pieces that are obviously copper right away, then the wires could be insulated. To remove the insulation, you will need to use a wire stripper or another similar tool.
You probably shouldn't rip out your new appliances for a little bit of wire. However, when you’ve got old appliances to replace, you might want to open them up before throwing them out. Much like TVs and monitors, appliances often have long strands of copper wire that are used to transfer power to all of the various components. In addition to copper wires, you might also be able to find some copper pipes in your refrigerator or washing machine. If you notice copper pipes in your appliances, then you will probably need a wrench to loosen or remove the brackets.
When it comes to copper recycling, your plumbing could be a goldmine. For many years, copper was the preferred material for residential plumbing systems because it was very easy to work with and resistant to bacterial growth. Recently, many homeowners have switched over to PEX and other polymer pipes because of their durability. Those individuals should consider keeping all of the old pipes so that they can be recycled. Recycling the old copper pipes could help you cover some or all of the costs of your new PEX pipes depending on how much metal can be salvaged.
In addition to copper, you might also want to consider recycling some of the other unused metal items around your home. Two of the best options are iron and aluminum, and those materials can be found in a wide variety of products.