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Electrical Wire Recycling

We all have that junk drawer filled to the brim with old electrical wires.
Some of us have entire closets full of outdated phone cables and power cords. So as technology continues to advance, and as Bluetooth becomes the default communication between devices, many of those cables have become obsolete. 

So what do we do with them?

Recycle Your Old Electrical Wire & Cables

They’re actually considered scrap metal because they contain copper.

Once this copper core is removed from the rubber sheath, the wiring is worth more than most other metals. While you shouldn’t necessarily expect a plentiful return, you can expect to receive at least a little for your scrap deposit.

What’s the Difference Between Wire & Cable?

People tend to think of these terms as synonyms. However, a wire is actually just one line of electrical conduction, and a cable is a unified group of wires insulated by sheathing. 

Therefore, your cables are probably worth more than your wires.

Is Wire Insulation Valuable?

Unfortunately not. The plastic (or rubber) sheath usually offers no value to either you or the facility collecting it. 

So to maximize your return on your wire deposit, you might consider stripping the wire yourself. However, this process is usually tedious and difficult.

What Types of Electrical Wires Are Scrappable?

There are many forms of copper wire and cables that are accepted by most recycling entities:

  • Phone Cables
  • Equipment Wires
  • Speaker Cables
  • Home Appliance Wires
  • Coaxial Cables
  • Ethernet Cables
  • Power Cords

Why is Copper Scrap So Valuable?

Copper is resistant to corrosion and conducts heat extremely well. Because of this, it’s used frequently in machine and equipment manufacturing. Many of your home appliances probably utilize copper wiring.

Next Steps

Instead of letting the outdated wires pile up in your junk drawer, bring them in for recycling at Cohen. By recycling your electrical wires, you’re taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint and promoting a healthier environment for us all. 


Let Cohen properly recycle your electrical wires.