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Thread: Burning wire vs stripping wire?

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    TheFatMan is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Burning wire vs stripping wire?

    Is there a difference in what I can get per pound if I burn it vs what I can get per pound if I strip it? I've got a lot of wire saved up and don't much feel like turning it in for money as insulated...



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    TheHoss's Avatar
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    Well i do know that it's illegal to burn it here. I've heard horror stories of guys burnin the insulation off, and scorchin the copper. When they bring it in the yard calls the police on them. Just rumor's, but still.

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    Mick's Avatar
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    My yards wont take burnt wire.
    People may laugh at me, but that's ok. I laugh all the way to the bank.

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    boil the wire. In a 55drum have wood or something burning nice a hot an have another 55drum right on top of it with the wire an a small hole. The case will melt an run out. I have not tried this but I have heard alot of people doing this on the cord ends (the cord ends are yellow brass) an they will just melt the rubber off.

    At the hole where the rubber will come out..maybe a good idea to have a bucket full of water so when the rubber hits it. It will be cold an make less of a mess/catching something on fire. If you do this let me know how well it works as I get around 1300pounds of wire weekly.

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    vamped400 is offline Experienced Scrapper
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    ive never had a problem bringing back burnt wire, but i prefer to strip it or bring it back as insulated. For every pound of copper you strip, you only make $1 extra then brining it back as insulated. I also heard you can get a $1000 fine for burning. If your going to do large amounts of stripping, id buy a wire stripper. Im glad i did!

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    iScrap is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Learn not to burn. Who in their right mind would do that to beautiful shiny copper anyway? HaHa. Maybe invest in a wire stripper as vamped400 did if you have a lot of wire saved up.
    "If only I had known then, what I know now."

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    vamped400 is offline Experienced Scrapper
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    i myself dont get 100's of pounds of copper wire a week. I only have 5 pounds saved up in 3 weeks. But i will say i do have a few jobs lined up (just waiting for the ground to dry up) and then ill have a nice load of wire. Its nice to have, and will pay for itself after a while so i thought it was a no brainer. After i stripped JUST 24 pounds of copper wire in 15 hours or so, i decided i needed to get one.

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    murt is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Burning wire=nasty chemical smoke that poisons the air and really does, no kidding here, cause cancer.
    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasc.../chem00031.htm

    Remember the whole Agent Orange Viet Nam thing? That was about Dioxin, the same chemical you release by burning PVC insulation.

    Growing up, my brother had asthma. Burn barrels irritated this and even authority-hating me had no problem calling the Town Fire Warden
    when I smelled burning plastic. Poisoning your neighbors air just isn't considerate.

    Of course, I've heard rumors that some smelters in China simply burn the PVC off anyway....or processor boats burn it while on the ocean. Haven't been able to find verification.

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    TheHoss's Avatar
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    Wow, definately a sobering thought. My old man is a Vietnam Vet thats been poisened by AO.


    Quote Originally Posted by murt View Post
    Burning wire=nasty chemical smoke that poisons the air and really does, no kidding here, cause cancer.
    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasc.../chem00031.htm

    Remember the whole Agent Orange Viet Nam thing? That was about Dioxin, the same chemical you release by burning PVC insulation.

    Growing up, my brother had asthma. Burn barrels irritated this and even authority-hating me had no problem calling the Town Fire Warden
    when I smelled burning plastic. Poisoning your neighbors air just isn't considerate.

    Of course, I've heard rumors that some smelters in China simply burn the PVC off anyway....or processor boats burn it while on the ocean. Haven't been able to find verification.

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    Burning is bad.

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    kenjermain31 is offline New Guy
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    theres people out there that own copper granulators like me that pay high dollar for your wire.... any scrap yard within 2 hours of me dont accept the wire due to us being in the location. and burning the wire doesnt make it more valuable

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenjermain31 View Post
    and burning the wire doesnt make it more valuable
    Here, they won't even accept burnt wire.

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    zito is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    We get about $0.20 more per lb for bright shiny copper (stripped cleanly) than for the same wire were it stripped by burning. We actually get a fair bit of burnt wire, as a couple of our customers are large scrapyards who seem to get the majority of burnt cars in our city. They have their guys grab whatever handfulls of loose burnt wire they can get in each car, it's a quick 20 bucks or so for them. We also end up getting a fair amount from smaller scrappers, who get it from smaller shops, farmers, etc. Probably a fair number of those guys burn their own too, I'm guessing.

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    little726 is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    I tried the burning method. Never again!! The smaller wire turned to dust when I touched it. The larger wire became brittle and broke off into pieces.

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    Mechanic688's Avatar
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    The smaller wire turned to dust when I touched it. The larger wire became brittle and broke off into pieces.
    Yep, I tried it one time a long time ago and I estimate that I lost about 20% due to burning.
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    CMHN is offline Experienced Scrapper
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    In my township, you will get the police called on you if you are burning anything but wood. If your a true recycler you wont burn the insulation off you would strip it. Its just better for the environment. If you don't care about the environment, then I don't have the time for you.
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    neon is offline Experienced Scrapper
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    I don't see the logic in burning the plastics versus for example burning the oil in the car engine when moving my ass. Or another comparison, who is more responsible - person that burns wires and never took a plane ride, or master recycler who is flying to his holiday. For me, all issues are very complex, all things should be counted in. It's called "ecological footprint" in our country. For example, I can plant 100 trees to compensate my wire burning, just an idea.

    On the problem with wire becoming brittle - it happens to me, when I cook it too long. When it's there for an appropriate time, the wire is ok.

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    achilles9x is offline Experienced Scrapper
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    Is it reallyworth it to burn/ strip INS off the wire? here we are getting $3 for copper, $2.50 for ins... so over 100lbs would net you $50 more... If you loose about 20% when burning you have $240 now instead of the $250 if you would have turned it in whole. And for $50 dollars I am not going to strip 100lbs of wire. IDK how fast you guys can strip but my hourly wage for stripping wire would be like .65, which is definately not worth it....

    In the long run you get more for just turning it in insulated, at least that is the case here

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    Mechanic688's Avatar
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    I don't know of anyplace that will pay $2.50 for insulated wire. It's more in the line of 1.20 1.40 for insulated.

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    being a past sufferer of cancer and a curent copd and infamacema patient burning wire insulation is not good for children and other living things. as stasted above they reliece Dioxen, bad bad stuff. but I sure hate taking wire to the yard because it is too small to strip and getting .40 a lb. I tried MEK works great but I made $5 extra on a half bucket fo comm wire ( computer wire) lol cost me $18 bucks for the MEK, back to the drawing board, there just has to be a way.


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