The History Of Copper

Copper has been in use by civilization for over 10,000 years, and has been recycled since early times. Because it does not degrade during recycling, copper in use today could have been first fabricated into objects thousands of years ago. Copper is highly prized by scrap metal collectors and scrap metal recycling businesses. The nonferrous metal is the best conductor of electricity except for silver. That electrical and thermal conductivity, along with properties of high ductility and malleability make it one of the most demanded metals by industry, eclipsed only by iron and aluminum.

Copper has been used and recycled by people for over 10,000 years, with a pendant dated to approximately 87000 BC having been found in what is now northern Iraq. Around 8000 B.C., copper emerged as a substitute for stone, and by 4000 B.C., Eyptians were heating and casting copper into shapes. Around 3500 B.C., the technology of copper processing continued to grow as the process of smelting ores was discovered, harkening the introduction of the Bronze Age.

The Mediterranean island of Cypress was the source of copper used by the ancient Romans. They called the highly coveted ore “aes Cyprium,” which translates into English as “metal of Cyprus.” This name was shortened to cyprium, and later, cyprium was changed to coprum. This latter term was the genesis of the English word, “copper.”

As with other metals, there are significant environmental benefits to the recycling of copper. These include solid waste diversion, reduced energy requirements for processing, and natural resource conservation. For example, the energy requirements of recycled copper are as much as 85 to 90 percent less than the processing of new copper from virgin ore. In terms of conservation, copper is a non-renewable resource, although only 12 percent of known reserves have been consumed. Known U.S. reserves of copper are thought to total 1.6 billion metric tons, with production concentrated in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Montana. About 99 percent of domestic production is generated from 20 mines.

Recycling Facts


A few facts about recycling shows a greater interest in recycling and reuse.  As limited resources are becoming less available and more expensive to get, recycling has become an more important than ever.  Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)—more commonly known as trash or garbage—consists of everyday items we use and then throw away, such as product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint, and batteries. This comes from our homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses.

Recycling and composting prevented 86.6 million tons of material away from being disposed in 2012, up from 15 million tons in 1980. This prevented the release of approximately 168 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the air in 2012—equivalent to taking over 33 million cars off the road for a year. Everyone should take the time to learn more about what they can recycle. This includes food and yard wastes, paper, metals, and electronics.  You can lessen your MSW generation and learn how they can be recycled.  If you have any questions, give us a call (361)643-4589.

Recycling Facts

Recycling Rates Are Increasing!





Roll Off Dumpsters – Choosing a size

15 Cubic Yard Roll-off Dumpster
This container is 15 ft long, 8 ft wide and 4 ft tall. This size container is perfect for small projects like spring cleaning, moving or a small construction project. This container will hold approximately six pick-up truck loads.

20 Cubic Yard Roll-off Dumpster
This container is 22 ft long, 8 ft wide and 4 ft tall. This size container is works for small to medium size remodeling and construction jobs, such as a bathroom or kitchen. This should be enough for a roof  replacement, or to replace a portion of your driveway. This roll off dumpster holds 7 to 9 pick-up truck loads.

30 Cubic Yard Roll-off Dumpster
This container is 22 ft long, 8 ft wide and 6 ft tall. This is the largest container we offer and is for those in need of some serious waste disposal. This is the size of dumpster you would see at concerts, outdoor festivals, major construction sites or for major renovation projects. This dumpster is taller than most, and will require more effort to load.

40 Cubic Yard Roll-off Dumpster
A 40 yard dumpster is  22 ft. long by 8 ft. wide by 8 ft, and holds 40 cubic yards of waste. A 40 yard dumpster may be appropriate for window or siding replacement for a large home; commercial roof tear off; commercial clean out; new construction or major addition; and very large amount of trash, paper, or cardboard.
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Ferrous VS Non Ferrous Metals

So what’s the difference between ferrous and non ferrous metals?

In metallurgy, a non-ferrous metal is any metal, including alloys, that does not contain iron in appreciable amounts. Generally more expensive than ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals are used because of desirable properties such as low weight, higher conductivity, non-magnetic property or resistance to corrosion.

Ferrous metals

Ferrous metals include mild steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and wrought iron. These metals are used for their tensile strength and durability.  Ferrous metals are found in housing construction, industrial containers, piping, automobiles, railroad, most of tools and hardware, and cooking knives.  High amounts of carbon make most ferrous metals and alloys vulnerable to rust. Generally speaking, if it rusts, it’s a ferrous metal. Ferrous metals also tend to have magnetic properties.  Ferrous metals are the most recycled materials in the world.

Non-ferrous metals

Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, brass, copper, nickel, tin, lead, zinc, gold and silver. While non-ferrous metals can provide strength, they are primarily used where their differences from ferrous metals can provide an advantage. Non-ferrous metals are much more malleable and lighter.  They contain no iron, so they have a higher resistance to rust and corrosion.  Finally, they are also non-magnetic, making them good for use in small electronics and wiring.


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Metal Recycling Facts

Metal recycling is an important piece of our economy, every day people throw away recyclable materials they could be making a profit from.

Two kinds of recycled metal exist, ferrous and nonferrous. Ferrous scrap metal is made of iron or steel and is often salvaged from old cars, steel beams and railroad tracks. Nonferrous scrap metal is made of any metal other than iron or steel, most commonly aluminum from foil or cans.

  • 75% of all “trash” can be recycled.
  • Iron and steel are the world’s most recycled materials and among the easiest materials to reprocess.   This is due to the ability to incorporate magnets in the waste stream separation process.
  • 42% of crude steel is made from recycled material.
  • Americans use 100 million steel cans every day.
  • The steel industry’s largest source of raw material is scrap metal, which is commonly collected by recycling steel.
  • Recycling steel saves 75 percent of the energy that would be used to create steel from raw materials, enough to power 18 million homes.
  • Over 65 percent of the steel produced in the U.S. is recycled into new steel every year.
  • One ton of recycled steel saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.

Call us today if you have any questions!


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Aluminum Recycling

Aluminum recycling is one of the most efficient ways to recycle, using only 5% of the energy required to make new aluminum.  Each year nearly 1 billion dollars worth of aluminum is buried in our dumps, costing tax payers money when aluminum recycling is easy and pays.  Over 200 million aluminum cans that could be recycled are disposed of each day.

Why is aluminum can recycling so important?  Because it saves lots of energy.  Today, aluminum can recycling saves about 11.5 billion kilowatt-hours, enough electricity to power a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.  A savings of $1,380,000,000.  Making aluminum cans from recycled aluminum scrap takes only four percent of the energy, one-third kWh.  Recycling just four aluminum cans saves as much energy as a cup of gasoline.  This is also why aluminum has such a high scrap value.  It is cheaper than mining new aluminum.

Also, think of all the extra pollution caused by mining, processing, and forming raw aluminum.  Aluminum must be extracted from bauxite ore, a more tedious process than melting down scrap aluminum.  95% of energy and air pollution is saved by recycling as well as a ton of space in our landfills.

Do your part to help the environment, and make yourself a few extra bucks!!