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How To Make Money Recycling Copper

Updated on January 28, 2010

Recycling copper is an excellent way to make money especially with copper prices the way they are right now. You will probably not get rich but you could make some extra money or if you get really good you could possibly turn it into a full time job.


 The first thing you will want to do before anything else is find a buyer for your copper. If you do not know where to sell your copper you will not make any money. The easiest way to do this is look in your phone book and look under recyclers. Most scrap metal recyclers will be happy to buy copper from you. Call them up and make sure though and also check thier prices. Different recyclers will have different prices so it is best to shop around for the best price.


 Now that you have found a buyer for your copper you will need a place to store your copper. You can use part of a garage, your back porch or wherever but make sure it is dry so your copper does not rust. It is less valuable at many recyclers if it is not clean. You will also want to lock it up so thieves don't steal your copper. Copper is sought after by alot of thieves so you will want to take extra caution where you store it.

You will also want containers to store your copper. You will probably want to get at least 1 container for each of the following types of copper:

1. Unstripped Copper Wire

2. Clean Copper ( Includes Stripped Copper Wire)

3. Dirty/Corroded Copper

4. Mixed Copper/Other Metals ( Electric Motors, Other copper with other metals attatched)

5. Unsorted Copper

A Garbage can or recycle containers would work just fine. You do not have to seperate most types of copper but you will get more money by sorting your copper.


 Now that you have a place to store your copper you will want to get a hold of copper to sell. You can do this a number of ways. Here are a few ideas:

1. CONSTRUCTION SITES- Talk to construction site managers and ask if it is OK to collect copper from the construction site. Alot of times you can find scrap copper wire, pipes and other copper that is scattered along the construction site. Make sure it is not needed and meant to be discarded befor you take it. You could get into alot of trouble otherwise. They may even give some to you if you are polite.

2. DUMSTERS- Many times people will discard copper in the trash. It might be worth checking out dumpsters in your area. Always make sure it is legal and if the owner asks you to leave do so without incident as to avoid trouble.

3. NIEGHBORS- You can ask friends, niegbors, and family for donations. They may have some copper you could have and may be happe to get rid of it.

4. PLUMBERS- Talk to plumbers and see if they have copper pipes you could have

5. ELECTRITIONS- Electritions may have copper wire you could have

6. BUY IT- You could also offer to buy copper from others. Just buy for less that you sell it for and you could make some money. You may want a scale if you do this option though.

7. TRASH HAULERS- Sometimes they haul off copper. They may be willing to be on the lookout.

You can also collect Appliances, Water Heaters, anything with an electric cord, Motorized items, and other junk items from people and salvage the copper parts.


 Once you have a descent amount of copper it is time to sell to your buyer. Make sure it is sorted and haul it down and get paid. You can ask your recycler about different grades so you can get the best prices. If you have a significant amount it might be worth getting a flat bed truck to haul your copper. Some places will pay more if it is over a certain weight so it might be worth saving until you get the minimum amount for the highest pay. Ask your buyer about that when you call them.


 There are a few ways you do not want to get copper as you might get into trouble if you do. Herer are a few examples:

1. Don't Steal it. Make sure you have legal right and permission before taking it.

2. Be Honest with people. Don't try to manupulate them to get copper. They will be more willing to work with you if you are honest. Plus they may give you some ideas that could help you.

3. Always get permission. If you are collecting from someone elses property such as a construction site or other private property make sure you have permission before taking anything or even entering the property.


Now you should be in business. I would not expect to get rich from this but you could very well make some side income. Good luck.


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    • profile image

      Scrap Copper 7 years ago

      Awesome Hub! You can make quite a lot of money from selling copper. Love the "Ways not get copper".

    • Jezhug profile image

      Jezhug 7 years ago from Australia

      Another quality hub,

      Thx ;)