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Old 10-02-2008, 02:50 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,336,750 times
Reputation: 1490
Default Finding copper wire in things around the house?

I was going to have a yard sale, and I have a lot of junk... but my neighbor sometimes sells scrap metal and she told me that old TVs and other things have copper wire in them. So I started thinking, maybe I'm better off getting the scrap metal out of my stuff, especially since some of it isn't working or is old/dated?

Considering some of the stuff I have around here, the wire inside might be worth more than the item. I just don't know what else has copper wire. I heard something about AC adapters? I have a ton of those from various toys and electronic items that we don't know what they even go to anymore. What about computer monitors? Do they have copper wire? I have 2 non working ones, and several old TV's. We removed the wire from one old TV, pretty easy to do (and it's so pretty! makes me want to make jewelry or something)...

I'd appreciate any other info on common household items that will contain copper wire... at $2.50 a pound it's bound to add up and I'll be clearing out clutter at the same time in my 2 sheds!
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,238 posts, read 25,079,671 times
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Anything that plugs in has copper wire in the cord...

anything with a motor generally has a copper coil...

I don't know if it's really cost effective, if you value your time, for the amount of money you would receive.
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:49 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,336,750 times
Reputation: 1490
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
Anything that plugs in has copper wire in the cord...

anything with a motor generally has a copper coil...

I don't know if it's really cost effective, if you value your time, for the amount of money you would receive.
Well, I'm in between jobs right now, trying to de-clutter the house and sheds, so why not? Gives me something to do at the end of the day when I've job searched for hours, and hey, if it buys a tank of gas (or half!) then it's not like it was all for nothing. We got the copper out of an old 70's TV quite easily. If it's going to be a big difficult ordeal then we won't bother but if it can come out like it did out of the dead TV then I'll go for it. I just figure, why not make a bit of cash for gas instead of just throwing stuff away.

I don't think they (the recycling places) pay much for the copper in cords though if it is hard to get out of there? They said something about insulated copper not paying much at all when I called to find out the "going rate" for copper wire. The TV had a big bundle of copper wire all in one place, easy to get out. That's what I'm looking for. Do old computer monitors have any?
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,100 posts, read 24,024,770 times
Reputation: 13156
You are talking about the yoke. Working inside a tv or CRT monitor is extremely dangerous. Some capacitors can hold a killing charge for days, and the glass near the yoke is extremely thin and if broken will cause the tube to implode flinging tiny shards of glass and phospors everywhere, including eyes and imbedded into hands. If you absolutely must do this, set the unit in a metal dumpster and lob a rock over the edge of the dumpster onto the tube. Sometimes it'll pop quietly, sometimes it'll be a big bang. Once the glass is broken, use thick gloves to work in the remains.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:01 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,701 posts, read 10,634,526 times
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Stay away from computer monitors and TVs...not worth the effort except for the cords. I have found that Christmas lights are really great...all you have to do is cut off all the old bulbs. Ceiling fans, standing fans, and anything with an old motor (including microwaves, washers and dryers, etc.) usually has quite alot of copper. If you have connections...computer boards are recycled to get the gold out of them. Don't forget that aluminum in items is valuable too as well as any stainless steel.

My friends (retired couple) make about $600.00 every 3 mos just picking up this kind of broken stuff from people's trash. I help them out sometimes when I have a chance.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
5,151 posts, read 8,356,027 times
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Wow, we trashed a ton of old Christmas lights - just didn't know how old they were and didn't want to risk using them. I don't even know of places to take metal to recycle if I knew how to do it, lol - but I agree w/the posts that you have to watch what items you take apart.

If I have something that works that I don't want or need anymore, I freecycle it - maybe those folks just get it for the money - but it's out of our house and hopefully not adding to the landfill.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
32,903 posts, read 26,401,403 times
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Some people are stealing the wiring from abandoned houses and isolated railroad communication lines. Just another sign of hard times a'commin.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:34 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,701 posts, read 10,634,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Some people are stealing the wiring from abandoned houses and isolated railroad communication lines. Just another sign of hard times a'commin.
Don't know where your from but around here the unscrupulous have been stealing alot more than that. The phone lines are constantly being hit and ripped off and not in isolated areas either. AC units at churches and schools have been hit hard too. Also had some problems of folks stealing bronze fixtures at churches and cemetaries as well.
Right now, they are looting all the debris left behind by hurricane Ike. I guess I really do not object to that as long as it is in a public place, has clearly been discarded, and not on private property (however destroyed it is).
Generally, persons who are into recycling via dumpster diving do practice good ethics. Which include staying off of private property without prior permission (especially for commercial dumpsters), leaving things as neat as you found them (or better), and being respectful.


If folks would like to recycle and do not know where to start, here is a good website: Earth 911 » Making Every Day Earth Day, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle, Green Lifestyle
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:06 AM
 
11,962 posts, read 7,023,273 times
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poltrack it's my understanding that some of the unscrupulous recyclers are junkies paying for a habit. New construction projects in NY- some amount of shrink happens for what 'fell off the truck' with shady sub contractors, but some companies had to have full time security guards to make sure wiring and plumbing wasn't ripped out by local hoods. It's not the only state seeing a problem with this kind of activity, either.

Darwin awards are going out from electric companies for people getting killed trying to steal what they thought was a dead wire. Big ole duh! Upside is no court cost/LE time I suppose.

Flawless: Real recycling endeavors- google freecycle- these yahoo groups are everywhere and some post their scrap metal/old washing machines there for a win win win (out of a landfill, off their property, and somebody earned a living that day). No driving for hours on trash day wasting gas, too. Your usable junk can also find a home instead of a trash pail. I offered free bamboo growing in my yard and so far I've had 24 responses, many who showed with a shovel. Less work for me!
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:50 AM
 
3,021 posts, read 15,680,574 times
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Default Yep, recycling is big time.....

Recycling and scrapping is all about segregation. Seperate, seperate, seperate. The purer the pile the better.

Copper is first rate but beware, other folks will want to steal your pile. Know what the recycle folks in your area want and how they pay. Today it is probably classified as heavy pure, lite pure, that is for bright copper in a totally clean state. Then some will buy with insulation or not clean. You can burn off the insulation, best not to do it uncontrolled. Brass, tin, stainless steel also bring big bucks.

Many buy motors of all types, have them separate. Harry is right about the electronic stuff. The amount of copper is small in terms of weight. Certain appliances do have capacitors, the charge of which is extremely dangerous, NEVER, NEVER MESS WITH MICROWAVES, NEVER EVEN OPEN IT. Even the very technically saavy are wary about microwaves. Enough to kill you in the right circumstances.

In some areas anything iron or steel is also a good find, again the cleaner and more segregated by type the better. Cast iron seperate from steel. Aluminum is first rate money maker. Cans either for deposit money or as scrap. Get a can crusher and reduce the volume. I save cans and it is several hundred dollars a truck load, every time I cash them in. Harbor Freight did have can crushers on sale for like $7 but they are defective out of the box. I had to add a wood spacer to the crusher head of mine to get it to work proper. Other folks give me their cans, they sure add up.

Batteries can be a money maker but it is a tough buck.

Some dudes in my area make money by buying old cars and reducing them into scrap. Total segregation into like metals is what pays the most. Probably less than minimum wage in the end. Lots of work in pounding that buggy into scrap.

Lots of money in trash and them thar scrap heaps. It is getting far more scientific every day. Many cities now process their trash for the valuable stuff before finally dumping it.

The new slick scam is to come around midnight and cut the catalytic converter off your car. Nice money in a small package. Duh, they even have a special tool to make it easy and quick.
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