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5 Benefits of Recycling Copper

Have you ever thought about recycling copper? Here are 5 reasons why you SHOULD recycle copper.

The Environment

The extraction and refining (purification) of copper produces dust and waste gases such as sulphur dioxide, harming the environment. Although these harmful effects are minimized by copper producers (sulphur dioxide is captured and used to make sulphuric acid), recycling emits few, if any, toxic gases.

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Saving Energy

To extract copper from copper ore, the energy required is about 100 GJ/ ton. Recycling copper uses much less energy, about 10 GJ/ ton, only 10% of the energy needed for extraction. This energy-saving preserves valuable oil, gas or coal reserves and reduces CO2 released into the atmosphere.

Copper Conservation

To date, only about 12% of existing copper resources have been mined. However, copper is a finite resource, and it makes sense to conserve the ore by recycling it.


It is cheaper to recycle old copper than to extract new copper. Recycled copper is worth up to 90% of the cost of the original copper. Recycling helps to keep the cost of copper products down.

Landfill Costs

Copper and copper alloy items, which are not recycled, are more likely to be dumped in holes in the ground – this is known as landfills. These holes fill up quickly and, as they become scarcer, landfill becomes a more expensive option for waste disposal (of any material).

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