Money For Old Cable

September 02, 1998

A new method for reprocessing scrap electrical cable is making collecting and recycling used cable economically attractive. Recycling used copper cable currently has high processing costs, a poor quality end product and low profit margins. But using the latest process, high quality copper material can be produced from scrap electric cable in localised recycling centres - and at a large profit.

The process, called Continuous Rotary Extrusion (CRE), was originally developed in the 1970s but has been modified by engineers to accept scrap electric cable. 40 per cent of the scrap cable dumped in land-fill sites is high grade copper which can be used for recycling. A tonne of this material is worth around £500 with processing costs at around £250 per tonne. Yet the material produced by CRE has a market value of between £2,000 - £2,500 per tonne -- offering a fantastic profit margins for potential investors.

CRE has a minimal environmental impact meaning that cable recycling centres can be based at compact light industry plants. This not only requires fewer staff but can also be located in cleaner environments than traditional recycling plants.


For further information or a full copy of the article please contact Andrew McLaughlin on tel: 0171 451 7395; fax: 0171 839 2289 or email:

Notes for Editors

  1. Materials World is the journal of the Institute of Materials, the professional body of over 18,000 materials scientists and engineers throughout Europe.

  2. The journal is distributed to all of the Institute's members who work in areas such as plastics, rubber, steel, metals and ceramics.

  3. Materials World is also available on the web:

  4. For further information on continuous rotary extrusion please contact Andrew McLaughlin to arrange an interview.

Institute of Materials

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