The red precious metal, copper has been around for thousands of years! Did you know? It was the first metal to be handled by humans, as early as 4500 B.C. Later came alloys that they mixed with copper and other metals to create new metals, for example, bronze. The U.S. penny was made of pure copper until the last century. After aluminum and iron, copper is the most used metal by big industries and three-fourths of it goes into building electrical wires.
Copper in your life
Copper mines are found amply, yet that is not the only reason it is broadly used for electronic wiring. Every home and building structure includes copper in their earthing systems. This is a life-saving system that protects structures from lightning strikes.
The metal’s physical and chemical properties such as conducting electricity make it ideal to use in electronic devices. Any average person needs approximately 1500 pounds of copper in all their devices put together such as computers, phones, vehicles.
Did you know your unused car can produce up to 50 pounds of copper? Or that the pipes in your home average approximately 400 pounds of copper? Cooper doorknob, handrails and finger plates are not just for aesthetic value. Copper has an antibacterial nature and is used extensively in public building as a preventive measure against bacteria.
Copper Color Code
Apart from gold, copper is the only metal that is not grey or silver. It turns green when it exposed to moisture. The exposure to air and water manipulates copper with a chemical reaction that turns it green. Did you know? The statue of Liberty is made of 179,000 pounds of copper, that’s enough copper to make 30 million pennies. Now, 30 years later it is green.
You need copper in your body too.
The human body needs copper for performing functions, the most important being the formation of red blood cells. Thankfully, you get copper in your diet through fresh leafy greens, beans or potatoes. In the ancient times, and some cultures even now serve food in copper plates or bowls and water in copper jars to get the maximum benefits of this precious metal for the body. Too much of a good thing is bad, and it’s true with the consumption of copper too. Fun fact: Copper is woven into socks to help you fight foot fungus.
Why Recycle Copper?
The most interesting reason copper is a utilized metal of industries is for its renewable properties. Copper is a metal that is 100 percent recyclable. That means, there is essentially no loss of metal during the recycling process.
Copper recycling process helps reduce carbon emissions, dust and waste gases, including other drastic disadvantages caused by mining natural copper ores. Mining fresh copper is a dangerous activity. Therefore recycling this renewable natural source makes a lot more sense than mining, milling, smelting and refining raw copper that otherwise harm the environment.
Recycling is also a more affordable way to extract copper. The energy conserved by recycling is of great value, besides conservation of the natural resources such as land, water, air is always encouraged. Did you know? Until today, only 12 percent of copper has been mined. This is great news because we want to sustain the copper ores and use the available copper metal as a limited resource.
When in doubt, always recycle copper
Recycling copper helps the industry maintain copper metal as an affordable commodity. When copper is discarded in landfills it is wasted and the land languishes away. Copper is a renewable metal, and that means, if you have unused copper metal in your home, you can trade it at your nearest scrap metal yard for cash. You can find copper in discarded air conditioners, heat pumps, dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes washer, dehumidifier, disposers and clothes dryer. Look at your plumbing tune, fittings, valves, built-in appliances, other wires and tubes. You can also expect to receive 95 percent of its original value.