Environment Magazine

Can You Recycle Electrical Wires? (And Are They E-Waste?)

Posted on the 06 March 2021 by Rinkesh @ThinkDevGrow

Can You Recycle Electrical Wires?

For thousands of years, electricity has been a major part of human existence. Time will not permit us to enumerate the different ways that it has boosted the activities of humans, as this is not the focus today. What is of concern is the electrical wires used to transfer electrical circuits to different places in a building.

Like transportation is important to humans, electrical wires are also important to introduce electricity to different buildings. This is why wires are in great use today. But then, being in great use has also raised some issues.

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As environmentalists, we are forced to look into the implication of wires being in great use today. More particularly, how these wires may be affecting our environment or what implications they might have on everyone using them.

This post is unlike what you have read in the past because we did not just consider the effects of wires on the environment; we also took a peep into the safety aspect of old wires and electrical wiring in your building. This is why you need all the concentration you can garner for this post to get the best because you just can’t afford to miss out on it. If you are ready, let’s get to business!

Are Electrical Wires Recyclable?

Almost everywhere you turn to, you will find out that electrical wires have been used for one thing or the other. This shows that electrical wires are in great use today and may one day pose a danger to the environment if there are no sustainable means to manage them. This is why the option of recycling is being considered for electrical wires. But then, is this possible? Let’s find out together.

Yes, electrical wires are recyclable. The reason this is so is because of the materials used in making the electrical wires. Most electrical wires are made of copper and aluminum materials, which are considered highly recyclable materials.

In many cases, there are specialized recycling stations that are willing to eagerly accept your electrical wires. Also, many e-waste facilities around the country will be willing to take possession of your electrical wires.

The good thing about recycling electrical wires is that the materials they are made of don’t degrade. This means that recycling stations can recycle them as many times as possible. Without a doubt, this will help the environment in many beneficial ways.

So, if you have old wires, you don’t have to worry about what to do with them; you can always recycle.

Are Wires E-Waste?

E-wastes are generally considered waste emanating from electrical appliances such as computers, mobile phones, television, etc. Over time, many people don’t consider wires as e-waste, but they are mistaken.

Wires are also considered e-waste because of their use and the electrical risk they are capable of causing to users. This is why it is always advised not to deal with electrical wires yourself.

Because wires are considered e-waste, it is not proper to dispose of them in your waste bin. Doing this poses a lot of risks to you and the people around you. For safety measures, you should always send your old wires to e-waste facilities near you. The facilities would be glad to receive your old wires and use them for something useful or dispose of them the proper way.

You can also send your wires for recycling. Like we said above, wires are made of copper or aluminum materials which are highly recyclable.

In all, when next you come across wires, always know that they are e-waste, and you have to cautiously deal with them.

Can You Put Wires In The Recycle Bin?

Since you have seen above that wires are considered recyclable materials, you might have made up your mind that the next thing to do is put them in the recycling bin. But how true is this? Can you put wires in the recycling? Join us as we find that out.

As much as wires are recyclable, you shouldn’t put them in the recycling bin. The reason for this is straightforward. Wires are generally considered as e-waste, and because of this, they should be given preferential treatment.

Even when it is clear that you can recycle them, you should look for a different means to send them to the recycling station. Usually, what to do in this situation is to gather your wires and package them in a carton, paper bag, or plastic bag. After this, you should label the packaged wires for easy identification. You can either call the recycling station for pick up or drive to their station to drop the packaged wire.

In all that you do, avoid dumping your old wires in the recycling bin. Doing this may create an excess problem for the recyclers as they would have to sort the wires from other recyclable materials.

Can Old Electrical Wiring Go Bad Inside A Wall?

The improvement in electrical wiring for the building has advanced such that the wires are now interconnected inside the wall. This means that you can’t see the wires and may not be able to tell whether something is wrong with the wires or if the wires can even go bad at all while inside the wall. Well, this curiosity is what this aspect satisfies. So, follow through to find out the full details.

Yes, old electrical wiring can go bad inside a wall. There’s probably nothing that lasts forever, so you should have expected this situation. But then, what can cause electrical wiring to go bad inside a wall? Let’s find out together.

Most times, electrical wiring can go bad due to the wear and tear of the wire insulation. The wire’s heat often causes this wear and tear due to the overloaded circuits running through the wires.

The electrical wiring can also go bad because of the activities of house rodents or pests. Mice and rats are specifically known to sometimes have a given for eating up the outside layers of wires used for the building’s electrical wiring.  This can cause the inner fittings to contact each other and cause some electrical wiring faults in the buildings.

In a situation that you see or notice that your building’s electrical wiring has gone bad, it is advisable that you only consult an expert to check it out. Electrical wiring can be dangerous for you to try to fix yourself. Fires related to electrical wirings are known to be one of the leading causes of fire outbreaks. To avoid a situation of fire outbreak, always seek the service of an expert.

How Do You Dispose Of Old Wires?

Having old wires in your home may, sometimes, appear out of place, especially if you live in a well-built and furnished home with no need for electrical wires. For years you may find no particular need of them, so the easiest thing to do may be to dispose of the old wires.

Like every other thing, there are proper ways to go about this, which is what this segment is all about.

1. You Can Recycle

As environmentalists, the first option to consider will always be recycling. Old wires are not entirely useless since many of them are made of aluminum and copper. These materials are considered recyclable materials and should not be allowed to go to waste.

By recycling, you are not just disposing of your old materials; you also ensure that the environment is kept safe and free of dirt.

2. You Can Take To E-waste Facilities

Generally, electrical wires are considered e-waste. This is why you must be careful when dealing with them. If you have a lot of electrical wires at your place and want to dispose of them, you can take them to any e-waste facility near you; the facility will be glad to receive them.

3. Sell Them

Who says you can’t make a fortune out of those old wires? Of course, there is nothing that goes to waste, and that includes your old wires. Many e-waste facilities are ready to offer you some cash in exchange for your old wires. You can also check out places like Best Buy to confirm if they can accept your old wires for some cash.

Alternatively, you can sell your old wires on platforms like eBay, Facebook, or Instagram. The only things you need are good managerial and bargaining skills.  If you decide to sell, however, you must ensure that your wires are in a good condition.

4. You Can Donate Them

Though you may not be convinced that charity homes will accept your wires as donations, we are not convinced too. But who says you have to take it there in the first place? You can always take your old wires to universities that are offering STEM programs. These universities are always happy to accept your old wires because their students and engineers will always need them during their laboratory works.

If you don’t know where to find a university offering STEM programs, you may check out some of them online or check through the curriculum of some universities in the country.

5. You Can Upcycle

Upcycling your old wires may not necessarily get them out of your homes, but they will change your orientation about how you see the old wires as waste materials. Usually, there are different things you can make out of your old wires. Some of them include.

  • Jewelry: Everyone will, at a point in their life, need jewelry for both casual and formal occasions. The good thing is that you can always make some jewelry out of your old wires. Though this process may be a bit tasking, we have made it easier for you by providing a video that walks you through the steps of making colorful jewelry out of your old wires.
  • Make Wire Arts or Sculptures: You can also make some beautiful arts and sculptures from your old wires. These arts and sculptures can be used to beautify your homes and offices. The process of making this is a bit lengthy, so in order not to take your time by explaining it here, we have provided this video and this video to walk you through the process of making different arts and sculptures from your old wires.
  • Make A Bowl: This may sound impossible, but with this video, you will see how perfectly this is done. You can use this bowl to decorate your homes and offices by putting some really beautiful things in them.

Conclusion

No doubt, electrical wires are necessary for us to gain access to electricity in our various homes. But as much as they are necessary, if care is not taken, they may cause harm to the environment, particularly since they are considered e-waste.

This is why you must take all actions to ensure that electrical wires do not pose problems to the environment. You can begin this by recycling, donating, or giving out your old electrical wires to e-waste facilities. Whatever you do, always stay conscious of the environment and the need to save it.

References:

https://www.classicelectricllc.com/2013/07/19/old-electrical-wiring-older-homes/

https://lifehacker.com/what-to-do-with-all-those-cables-and-cords-youve-hoarde-1840925369

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