A changing copper recycling industry

Growing scrap arisings in developing economies and the increasing complexity and abundance of e-waste will shape the copper recycling industry over the long term. In developed economies, copper recyclers will become reliant on waste electronic materials as a secondary resource, like FrontMet’s products recovered Copper Zinc and Non Ferro Mix.

Meanwhile, the supply of traditional scrap found in construction and infrastructure will decrease in developed economies due to a combination of factors, including stable or declining industrial activity, substitution and improving resource efficiency. However, the declining use of copper pipes in construction, for example, is likely to be offset by increasing use of copper in new technologies such as ‘smart’ buildings and photovoltaics.

Scrap production will increase overall, but scrap quality will shift from ordinary copper scrap to more complex materials. Quantity will increase, but availability and quality is a different story. The increasing complexity of consumer electronics presents huge challenges for recyclers as it is common for devices such as smartphones to contain more than 60 different elements.

Because of investments in innovative technologies for recycling metals from (e)-waste, we are well prepared for these changes in the market. We can keep suppling its long-term customers for many years to come.

Source: Metal Bulletin