Copper Recycling in Australia

Copper is a versatile and essential metal used in a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing, and energy. It is also a highly recyclable material, with over 70% of all copper ever mined still in use today.

Australia is a major producer of copper, with over 800,000 tonnes of copper concentrate produced in 2022. The country is also a significant importer of copper scrap, with over 100,000 tonnes imported in the same year.

Copper recycling in Australia is a growing industry, with over 70% of all copper waste recycled in 2022. This is due to a number of factors, including:

  • The high value of copper scrap.
  • The environmental benefits of recycling copper.
  • The increasing availability of copper recycling facilities.

Copper can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its quality. This makes it a valuable resource for Australia, as it helps to reduce the need for new copper mining and processing.

There are a number of ways to recycle copper in Australia. Copper scrap can be dropped off at local scrap metal yards, or it can be collected by commercial scrap metal collectors. Copper can also be recycled through kerbside recycling programs, although this is not as common as other materials such as aluminium and plastic.

Once copper scrap has been collected, it is sorted and processed to remove any impurities. The pure copper is then melted down and recast into new copper products, such as wire, pipes, and sheets.

Copper recycling in Australia has a number of benefits, including:

  • Reducing the need for new copper mining and processing.
  • Conserving energy and resources.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reducing pollution and waste.
  • Creating jobs in the recycling industry.

The Australian Government supports the copper recycling industry through a number of initiatives, including:

  • The National Copper Strategy, which aims to increase the recovery and recycling of copper in Australia.
  • The National Waste Policy, which sets targets for reducing waste and increasing recycling.
  • The Product Stewardship Act, which requires businesses to take responsibility for the end-of-life disposal of their products.

Consumers can also play a role in supporting copper recycling in Australia by:

  • Recycling all copper scrap, including old wiring, pipes, and appliances.
  • Purchasing products made from recycled copper.
  • Supporting businesses that have a commitment to recycling.

By working together, the Australian Government, industry, and consumers can help to make copper recycling the norm in Australia.