Factors that Influence Copper Prices in Edmonton

Copper, a versatile metal used in everything from construction to electronics, plays a crucial role in our modern world.  Naturally, understanding the factors impacting its price is essential, especially for those in Edmonton seeking to buy or sell copper. At General Recycling LTD, our commitment is to empower the community with knowledge. Today, we take a comprehensive look into the world of copper pricing, addressing common questions and shedding light on what dictates copper prices, their fluctuations, and their local impact in Edmonton.

What Determines the Price of Copper?

Like many commodities, the price of copper is a complex interplay of several factors, both local and global. Here are some key influencers that affect supply and demand in the short and long term:

  • Supply & Demand: Just like any commodity, the copper price per pound is heavily influenced by the balance between supply (primarily from mining) and global demand from various industries like construction and technology.
  • Global Economic Outlook: Copper serves as an economic indicator, reflecting global activity. Economists and analysts sometimes refer to the precious metal as “doctor copper” for its ability to tell the financial health of a market. A strong global economy typically leads to higher demand for copper, pushing prices upwards. China, a major consumer, significantly impacts the market through its industrial and urbanization activities.
  • Currency Exchange Rates: As copper is primarily traded in USD, fluctuations in the dollar’s value can affect its affordability in other currencies, impacting demand and ultimately, price. The dollar strengthening makes copper more expensive, potentially reducing demand.
  • Technology & Infrastructure: The green energy shift is driving copper demand as it’s vital for electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, and related infrastructure.
  • Political Instability & Trading Disputes: Political instability and trade disputes can disrupt supply chains and influence pricing due to factors like tariffs, export restrictions, and government interventions.
  • Mining Supply & Operations: Miner productivity and government reserves influence copper prices. Disruptions in mining due to strikes, accidents, or environmental factors can lead to supply constraints and price hikes.
  • Oil Prices: As copper refining is energy-intensive, rising oil prices can increase energy costs, impacting the overall copper price.

Local Factors Affecting Copper Prices:

While global factors significantly influence copper prices, local trends can also play a role and contribute to price fluctuations in Edmonton.

  • Alberta’s Economic Conditions: The overall economic health of Alberta, particularly industries heavily reliant on copper, can influence local demand and subsequently, the price of copper in Edmonton.
  • Availability of Scrap Copper: The local availability of scrap copper can affect the price offered by Edmonton-based recycling facilities like General Recycling LTD. When scrap copper is readily available, its price might be lower due to increased supply.
  • Local Supply-Demand Dynamics: Specific supply and demand dynamics within Edmonton itself can also play a role. If local demand for copper is high, while the available supply remains limited, the price might be higher compared to regions with a different supply-demand balance.

Why Are Copper Prices Increasing?

Several factors contribute to the recent rise in copper prices, including:

  • Growing Demand: Sectors such as electric vehicles and renewable energy are driving increased demand for copper.
  • Supply Disruptions: Various factors in major copper-producing countries have led to disruptions in the copper supply chain.
  • Global Economic Recovery: The post-pandemic global economic recovery has spurred heightened demand across various industries.

General Recycling: Your Trusted Partner in Edmonton’s Copper Market
At General Recycling, we understand the intricacies of the copper market and stay updated on the ever-evolving landscape. For details on the types of copper we accept, interest in the current Edmonton copper price or you want to know the value of your scrap copper, we’re here to assist you.

Contact us today or visit one of our locations for expert advice and exceptional service.

3 Ways Bin Service Will Make Your Work Site Cleaner & Safer

As so many of us have had to discover the hard way, keeping a messy job site in order can be overwhelming. So much so that sometimes, the burden of the mess can divert hard workers away from the task at hand. Things can quickly get disorganized when we can’t focus on our important work, compromising both the quality of our work and the employees’ sense of structure.

Luckily, industrial recycling bins are here to keep things simple. So, let’s look at a few ways industrial scrap metal bin service can add some order to your busy work place.

They Keep Things Organized

An organized work environment goes a long way when you’re looking to maximize efficiency without jeopardizing the quality of your work. Instead of strategizing about the best way to avoid debris during an important day on the job, workers can go about their craft without interruption.

If you’re looking to streamline your process or cut down on hours spent on the site, keeping things clean, with pathways free of obstruction, will benefit you in the long run. Instead of workers cutting corners to keep a job within time constraints, they’ll find that their work naturally moves more quickly when they don’t have to think about the disarray or hazards of their workspace.

Our Environment Will Thank You

In addition to the waste-saving factor, a designated scrap metal recycling bin on the job can significantly decrease the chance of contamination of the environment around you and substantially reduce work place hazards. The environment and your colleagues will thank you for not allowing these materials to take up space on the ground at your job site. Selling your scrap metal is an excellent way to earn money to invest back into your projects while protecting the environment and creating a safer work place.

The  scrap metals that can be earning you money through safe and responsible recycling include:

  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Steel and Cast Iron
  • Aluminum

The amount of metal that goes to waste without being recycled is unfathomable. Much of this scrap metal can be made useful again, saving you and your company money, as well as keeping close-to-brand-new materials out of landfills.

It’s Simply Convenient

In the final stages of a project, the last thing you or your employees want to be doing is rounding up the scrap metal from around the job site. Investing in practicality with an industrial scrap metal recycling bin and keeping up with disposal as you create it means you’ll be left with an extra moment to admire the work you’ve done instead of playing garbageman. Trust us; your colleagues and employees will undoubtedly feel the difference.

General Recycling Industries is your Bin Service Resource

Here at General Recycling, we take pride in providing you with honest and accurate accounting and the proper resources for your specific scrap metal recycling needs so your scrap disposal is as seamless as possible. That’s why we work to ensure we can supply you with the bins you need or exchange them  with as little as 24 hours’ notice when possible.

Types of Bins Available

For your convenience, we have multiple bin types available so you can tailor your recycling to your needs.

  1. Self-Dumping Hoppers–our smallest model, best for placement adjacent to machines or for small pieces to be deposited in a larger bin. Hoppers are only provided when a full service bin is in place. 
  2. Lugger Bins–our mid-size option, many with sealed bottoms to prevent fluid leakage. A variety of sizes are available.
  3. Roll-Off–our largest model–for larger and bulky pieces and volume. All equipped with doors for loading and dumping ease.
  4. Not quite sure which size is for you? See our website to make sure you’re choosing the best option for you. If you still can’t decide, don’t hesitate to contact us!

It Pays to Go Green at General Recycling

We’re committed to reducing your carbon footprint through our scrap metal purchasing program.

Our mission is to meet the industry’s need for a comprehensive scrap metal recycling program while keeping our environment  in mind, and we have done so for over 45 years. See for yourself!

Sustainably Recycling with a Scrap Metal Shredder

You may know that recycled metal is the backbone of many manufacturing industries. But do you know how large quantities of metal are broken down, sorted, and processed, and how improvements to the recycling process can put more money in your pocket while helping the environment?

What is an industrial scrap metal shredding machine?

A scrap metal shredding machine is a large, industrial shredding machine capable of shredding scrap metal into small, uniform pieces. This is a key part of many industrial recycling processes.

Once your scrap has been accepted and sorted, it’s brought through the machine’s hammermill. Here it is shredded and sized before the ferrous and non-ferrous components are split out.

Our scrap metal shredder can process over 100 tons of scrap per hour, allowing us to get metal back into circulation faster, safer, and more efficiently.

Why shred?

Shredding expedites the recycling process by increasing the rate that scrap can be broken down, yielding a smaller, more homogenous product. Our Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR) recycling plant helps purify output by separating fluff and other waste from recyclable scrap. 

Shredded materials are much more valuable to recycled metal buyers because they are more predictable and easier to work with. The smaller size of the output is better for the environment too. It can be compacted to a smaller volume, which increases the efficiency of transportation and storage.  

Industrial metal shredders provide the capacity for recyclers to handle larger items, including vehicles, in a sustainable and energy-efficient way. Recyclers without access to a metal crusher will have to manually shred their scrap. This adds time to the workflow and the resulting salvage is less consistent and has lower value. Machine-shredding scrap improves recycling at every stage.

Where does shredded scrap go?

The clean salvage from industrial shredder machines goes to steel mills for further processing. 

What can and can’t be shredded?

Many categories of metal can be shredded, including both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. One of the benefits of industrial shredders is that they can handle large pieces of scrap such as appliances, cars, or even buses.

To produce uniform salvage, it is important to control what goes into the shredder. While most light-gauge scrap can be shredded easily, end-of-life items such as cars and appliances are not pure metal. These often contain other parts that must be recycled or disposed of separately. Some components not fit for shredding include batteries, heavy forged materials, fuel, and hazardous materials. A full list of unacceptable materials can be found here.

How can I make sure my scrap is primed for shredding?

To get the most value for your scrap, ensure that it is free from contaminants and sorted roughly by material. This will keep the initial weighing as accurate as possible. Separating different components is a critical part of the recycling process, and by doing it in advance you can ensure that the entire process is as smooth as possible.

If you are looking to recycle scrap metal, including junk cars, in Edmonton or need a free quote, reach out to our experts!

A Complete Guide To Recycling Your Scrap Copper, From Product To Pricing

Basics of recycling copper

Unlike many other metals, copper can be recycled multiple times without sacrificing performance or quality. This, along with the ease of grading copper, makes it a choice item for metal recyclers. Scrap copper comes from many items, including piping, tubing,  wire and electronics, as well as in sheet metal form. You can often transport your scrap copper directly to recyclers, but depending on the volume that you are dealing with it may be worthwhile to get a bin brought to your site. 

How is scrap copper pricing determined?

Scrap copper can be sold to recyclers and is priced by weight (usually on a per-pound basis). The pricing for copper can vary from day to day and is affected by many factors, so it is difficult to provide a standardized price. The value of scrap copper is primarily determined by its grade, which is based on the copper content, size, and condition of the scrap. Below are common copper grades, ordered by value.  

Bare Bright Copper (Wire only)

Bare bright copper is the most highly valued type of copper. It is made up of 99.9% copper and must be free of any impurities. The value of bare bright copper comes from its condition which reduces the amount of processing that must be done in order to successfully recycle it. Bare bright copper is used to make high-voltage power cables, and often comes insulated (so be sure to strip it to increase value). However, stripping it is not necessary as it  can be recycled either way. In order to qualify as bare bright copper, the individual strand within the conductor should be no finer than 14 gauge.

#1 Copper (Wire or pipe)

#1 copper is bare copper free of any contaminants such as coatings, soldering, or paint, or In some cases, #1 copper can have light traces of oxidation. #1 copper can be found in a few forms, including copper piping and bus bars, as well as insulated wires. Oxidized pipe is classified as #2. 

#2 Copper

#2 copper contains at least 94% pure copper, but may have some contaminants present. In some cases, #2 copper can be accepted in the form of scrap wire, bus bar and pipe or tubing. #2 copper is also present in electric motors and end-of-life vehicles. 

Light Copper (“#3 Copper”)

Light copper (sometimes referred to as “#3 copper”) is lower-grade copper and is unalloyed. It should generally have a copper content of 88-92%, and common sources include sheet copper, boilers, gutters, and radiators.

Copper-containing alloys

Copper-containing alloys can be recycled as well. The value of copper-containing alloys will depend on the type of alloy, and the form that it is in. Because the recycling process will be different for different types of alloys, it is especially important that copper-containing alloys are sorted in advance.

Copper recycling best practices

Proper sorting and preparation of your copper will ensure that you get the most value when bringing your copper to a recycler. Here are a few tips you can use to make sure you make the most for your metal.

  1. Sort your copper based on type and condition. By pre-sorting your copper, you can assist our staff in making grading and pricing easier.
  2. Check pipes for non-copper fittings and remove them in advance. Copper fittings on copper pipe may change grading due to solder. Fittings containing alloys or other metals should be removed to ensure maximum value. If you have the equipment to do so safely, you can remove or cut around non-copper components of piping to increase the grade of your copper.
  3. Strip copper wire to maintain the value of your scrap. Stripping the insulation from copper wire will reduce the amount of time required to process it and can result in your scrap being evaluated as a higher-grade copper. Stripping copper can be done by hand or with machines.
  4. Do not burn copper wire – ever. Burning copper wire is illegal in many places. It releases toxic fumes and taints your copper, which reduces its value and lowers the efficiency of the recycling process. It’s also bad for the environment. 

In short, recycling scrap copper is a straightforward and environmentally-friendly process that will allow you to make money back on old copper. Preparing your scrap in advance is easy and will ensure that you get maximum value.

If you are looking to recycle scrap copper in Edmonton or need a quote, reach out to our experts

New Website Launch!

Welcome to our new website – we thought it was time to scrap the old one! 

Our new website was custom-built to help customers better navigate through our products and learn more about our scrap metal services. We’re committed to investing in new technologies that not only help improve our customers’ scrap metal recycling experience but contribute towards a better, greener tomorrow. This is why we’ve also recently launched our shredder division here at General Recycling! Our shredder allows us to increase our recycling capacity in a way that’s more efficient and sustainable. You can learn more about this new technology on our shredder page

We’re excited to see what the future brings! As our business evolves, we’ll continue to keep our team, customers, communities, and environment at the forefront of every decision. Happy Shredding!

It Pays to go green

Recycle your scrap metal and get paid, ask us how!

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