Where to Find Copper
For the environmentally-conscious or for those looking to make a little money through recycling copper, finding sources of the metal is not hard. For example, most appliances use copper wires in their power cords. An old blender at a garage sale, for instance, may not work and sell for only a quarter, but the copper wire in its power cord will be worth far more. To get the highest price for the copper, strip away any coatings on it, such as the protective coating on copper wires. Stripping the coating off the wire is time consuming but otherwise relatively easy to do. A little investment of time yields a higher return on the copper wire – the difference in what scrap yards will pay for coated copper wire, compared to what they will pay for stripped wire, is significant.
For the innovative, old appliances, electronics, and wires laying around the house that contain copper can be recycled rather than just pitched. Recycling copper turns out to be a good thing to do for the environment, but also a good way to increase the size of one's wallet.
Sources and Further Reading
Ontario Ministry of the Environment. “Copper in the Environment: Fact Sheet."
International Copper Association. “Copper Info: Recycling."
Hartman, Thom. “Copper Mining, Pollution, and the Miracle of Awakening."
eHow.com. “How to Recycle Scrap Copper."