Merrillville Metal Recycling buys scrap metals.


Copper scrap is one of the most valuable recycled commodities. Copper scrap commands a premium above all other red metals. Identifying copper scrap is relatively easy, as copper is a reddish-colored metal that is malleable, dense, and highly conductive. Copper has numerous applications, including electrical wiring, electronics, piping, telecommunications, machined parts, automotive components, and architectural copper finishes.

Because of copper’s many uses, copper scrap is a highly sought-after commodity by manufacturers. Copper is actively mined today in copper producing nations such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Russia, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, South Africa, Mexico, and the United States. As copper reserves continue to diminish, manufactures actively look to secondary markets for raw feedstock needed to make new manufactured goods.

Copper Scrap Recycling Facts

  • Roughly 8% of the world’s total copper supply is produced by the United States.
  • Mining copper ore requires nine to 10 times more energy resources than recycling copper scrap.
  • In the history of the world, about 1.1 trillion pounds of copper have been mined. Experts estimate there are another seven trillion pounds of copper still in the earth, waiting to be mined.
  • Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, which is why it is used for wiring and cabling.
  • Copper is also extremely durable, making it ideal for oil and water pipes.

How to Prepare Your Copper Scrap for Recycling

There are different grades of copper that command different copper scrap prices. These prices vary based on high difficult it is to smelt the copper scrap to prepare it for reuse. The less difficult and more efficient the process, the higher the price we are able to pay for your scrap. For our current copper scrap prices, click here. And to calculate what your copper scrap might be worth when you bring it to our Merrillville scrap yard, check out our online scrap price calculator.

How to Command the Best Copper Scrap Prices

Copper scrap pricing is based on recovery rates. Copper scrap that is free of non-metallic attachments and is unadulterated by other alloying metallic elements will receive a higher value because it is in furnace-ready form. So, when you bring your copper scrap to us, it is important to have it separated correctly. If we must separate the scrap metal for you, then we can’t pay you top copper scrap prices. To get the most money for your scrap, you need to separate it before bringing it to our Merrillville scrap yard.

Bare Bright copper wire is 99% copper content, uncoated, unalloyed copper wire. Bare bright copper wire is one of the most common types of copper, and it is also the type of copper we pay the most money for. To get the best copper scrap prices at our Merrillville scrap yard, remove any rubber, plastic, or insulation that is attached to it. In addition, your bare bright copper scrap should be free of oils and heavy oxidation.

#1 copper is 97% to 99% pure copper and includes copper cable and tubing that is untinned, unalloyed, and uncoated, while also being free of burnt or brittle wire.

Like bare bright copper wire, your #1 copper should be relatively clean and free of items such as plastic, brass fittings, tin solder, and steel. This type of copper is most often used in home plumbing (to supply hot and cold water) and in HVAC systems as a refrigerant line. Copper tubing is highly resistant to corrosion, but it is becoming very expensive.

So that we can offer you the best copper scrap prices for your #1 copper, cut off any brass fittings and tin solder. Although you will lose small pieces of the copper, the additional price we can pay for clean #1 copper tubing will far surpass what you would be paid otherwise. If your copper tubing is not relatively clean, that it will be graded as #2 copper or #3 copper.

#2 copper consists of miscellaneous, unalloyed copper scrap, with a nominal copper recovery of 94% to 96%. Copper that has paint, brass fittings, or tin solder attached to it will likely be classified as #2 copper and is priced below #1 copper. Sometimes, copper pipes that have been exposed to chemicals will be classified as #2 copper, as will copper that has oil residues. Because this type of copper scrap requires additional processing to remove these impurities, we pay less than the price for #1 copper.

#3 copper consists of miscellaneous, unalloyed copper scrap, with a nominal copper recovery of 88% to 92%. Another name for #3 copper is roofing copper, which is the least valuable of all copper scrap because of the amount of tar and/or paint that it usually contains. When processing #3 copper for reuse, the paint and tar must be burned off, which is an extensive and time-consuming process. However, if your roofing copper has not been applied with tar or paint, then we will generally classify it as #1 copper.

Merrillville Metal Recycling's transparent pricing is an industry best practice.

Our prices are based on globally published commodity indexes. In accordance with best business practices, providing transparent pricing helps you understand the value of your waste materials. By using index-based pricing, we can build a settlement processes that allow your business to hedge risks, helping you establish predictable cash flows.

Merrillville Metal Recycling offers very favorable purchasing structures.

Because Merrillville Metal Recycling is a privately funded company, we are able to tailor the contract terms to satisfy your business needs. We understand that the value recovered from your scrap commodities is an integral part of your business. As such, it’s our job to pay you on time, every time, and to find the best end-markets to ensure highest prices are paid.

Merrillville Metal Recycling provides cash advances for scrap metals.

We understand that decommissioning, demolition, and asset recovery projects can be capital intensive and have a serious impact on your cash flows. It’s our goal to have you win the bid. By providing cash advances, we alleviate the up-front financial obstacles so your revenue streams can be realized. We support the success of your project and provide financial assistance at every turn.


Whether you want to sell your scrap, buy our processed material, learn more about our company, or just chat about recycling, we’re just a mouse click away.