Every day of every week of every month, we Australians throw away rubbish and with no thought as to where it goes and what happens to it. There is a lot of recycling completed by the Australian government now, but there is still stuff that we can’t recycle and it ends up in a hole in the ground. It is then covered up, never to be seen again, at least not in our lifetimes. We now need to lower the amount of waste that we generate individually, try to reuse as much as we can and then recycle, when we no longer need something. We get advice on the recycling on paper, glass and plastic, but we never get advice on the recycling of copper and copper alloys.
The Three R’s.
Using the three R’s, this is how we can recycle copper and copper alloys. Things made from copper are really hard wearing and are built to last and will still be functional in the years to come. Items such as your mobile phone, your washing machine and your cookers which still operate, can be reused by others. Finally, the copper that contains waste electrical and electronic equipment, like old style plumbing, scrap and old taps can be collected, taken apart and melted down. This is then recast and used again. This type of metal is in short supply and this is reflected in the scrap copper prices in Perth.
A lot of the demand for our copper in Australia is met by recycling and there are many benefits to recycling your copper both economically and environmentally. Let’s take a look at just some of them.
- Eco-Friendly – Creating copper means that mines create sulphur dioxide, which has a harmful effect on our environment. Most of this gas is captured and used to make sulphuric acid, but by recycling it, we don’t create any additional gases.
- Landfill Costs – If we don’t recycle our copper, then it will very likely end up in a landfill somewhere in Australia, never to be seen again. We then need to meet the shortfalls by mining again and so the destructive cycle of events continues.
- Saves Energy – In order to get the copper from the copper ore, a great deal of energy is needed to do that. If we recycle, we only use about ten percent of the energy needed for the extraction. This saving of energy allows us to hold onto our reserves of oil and gas and this in turn reduces the amount of CO2 released into the air.
- Conservation – Up until now, we have only used about 13 percent of our copper resources by mining. By recycling, we can conserve this precious metal for later generations and from an economical point of view, recycled copper should get you about ninety percent of its original value, and this helps to keep the prices of our copper products down.
Recycling copper is the most environmentally responsible way to protect our copper reserves and also to protect the planet we live on, for now and future generations.