What do you do with your brass and copper scrap?

I have lots of copper and brass scrap and don’t know what to do with
it. Is there a recycling program somewhere? If so, let me know.

Thanks, Lynn


You can find a scrapper on craigslist. The material isn’t really
worth standing in line at the scrapyard for, but a plumber or
electrician who already has scrap will be glad to take it for you.
The pure copper will fetch about $8 per pound, the brass quite a bit
less, unless you could guarantee that it was all the same grade.

I would hand it off in a location other than your jewelry studio.
Scrappers are mostly honest tradesmen, but there are also metal
theives out there, you would so well to stay off their radar.

Lynn, Try putting your city or state plus “recycle copper” in the
google search box. It should bring up a good local source.

Vera Meyer

Hi, I may be interested in some of it. If you have lots of shavings I
would love to use them as inlay material for my rings. Let me know
what it is you have. Thanks!


I save all my brass, copper, and nickel-silver scrap because
eventually some of it will prove useful in other jewelry projects. I
just made a couple of rings out of scrap pieces of 22-gauge brass and
nickel-silver sheet (I store my scrap sheet metal in big plastic
freezer bags according to its gauge). It’s also great to experiment
on (e.g., when practicing letter stamping or decorative hammering).
If you have a disc-cutter, you can make your own discs out of scrap.
I recently sold a free-form necklace made of miscellaneous scraps of
metal brazed together. And so on.

Judy Bjorkman

Hi Lynn, most towns of any size have a metal recycling place. Copper
and brass are more than welcome, they actually pay pretty good rates
for what you take in. Our town of 5000 is too small for such a
facility, but we took a bunch of stuff to a town of about 20,000 and
they have a recycle place for metal. Steel doesn’t pay much, aluminum
is in the middle range of recycle rates, but copper and brass are the
really high rate. Just ask your beer drinking neighbor where he
recycles beer cans, they also take other metals.

Judy Hoch

Pure copper is selling near the $3.50 mark not $8. I purchase
hundreds of pounds of it a year. Check Kitco for the current days
selling price. I usually end up with several pounds of copper filings
every school term. I’ve given it to the local colleges to put in the
clay in the art department. When fired it gives the vessels being
fired a fun metallic effect. If you are not concerned about making
the pittance your scrap would garner, just donate it to a Clay
department at a local school. You just might get back some beautiful
hand made pots.

Aggie, in Fl wondering what happened to Sandy

Pure copper is selling near the $3.50 mark not $8. 

That’s an excellent price to buy copper $3.50 a kilo, I usually get
mine for $8 a kilo.

I could understand if that was a buy price, but a sell price… wow.

Regards Charles A.


We have found another translation problem from not thinking outside
the USA box. Copper here in the USA sells for around $3.50 a pound
(16 ounces) So taking that to a kilo it would come out about the $8
you said. Scrap yards are going to offer much less because they too
want to make a profit. Unless you have many pounds of scrap, it is
just not worth trying to sell it. IMO

Aggie the old lady in Florida breaking all the copper working rules.

I usually end up with several pounds of copper filings every school
term. I've given it to the local colleges to put in the clay in the
art department. When fired it gives the vessels being fired a fun
metallic effect. 

Seriously? The very idea makes my skin crawl. As a lifelong potter, I
cringe at the idea of throwing with clay filled with, in essense,
land mines. Even if the particles are all quite small, it could take
the skin off your hands! And if anything larger crept in–


I put in what I wrote that it was “filings”. I use mostly a #2 Swiss
file Back in the 60’s we threw iron filings in our clay to throw
pots. Even wedging the clay with the fine particles did no harm. The
copper causes no problems. But then some of the potters have used it
in Raku as they pulled the pots and dumped organic material on them
when they were still glowing. The imbedded copper filings made a very
nice contrasting copper color as opposed to the rainbow metallic
colors of the normal raku. Now if it were the larger pieces I saw off
or cut off I would never use those in clay. I have very little of
that. In the last 15 years going through hundreds of pounds of copper
a year, I have accumulated a total of half a gallon jug of scrap. I
have in the past added little bits of copper into a waxes I’ve cast.
I’ve also wondered about the new epoxy resins, and putting some of
the filings into it to resemble a fake goldstone. There are no limits
to the imagination just what we haven’t thought of yet.

Aggie, the old lady in the colder land of the mouse Florida