Houston Scrap Metal Recycler - Experts in Non-Ferrous Scrap Metal

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Copper and the Development of Civilization

August 5th, 2013 by Melanie Ledbetter-Remy

Humans have used many natural resources to maintain and advance society such as water, trees and oil. However, copper is one of society’s largest contributors. It is also a vital product for all types of applications. Due to the material’s chemical, visual and physical properties, people use it for technological, domestic and industrial purposes. Furthermore, copper is malleable, resistant to corrosion and an ideal conductor of electricity and heat.

Copper’s History

Archaeologists have found artifacts proving that people began using copper at least 10,000 years ago. In fact, copper was one of the first metals that people used when man discovered how to extract and use copper to produce implements and ornaments. In western Asia, primitive people made coins and decorations from the product while Egyptians sterilized water and treated infections with it. Spain discovered a way to extract the metal as early as the 3rd and 4th millennium BC.

The Bronze Age came about when it was discovered that we could alloy copper with tin to make bronze. In addition, China, Japan and India produced many products with copper during the Middle Ages while inventors discovered its benefits in electricity and magnetism in the later years of the 18th century and the first few years of the 19th century which helped start the industrial revolution.

Copper and Recycling

Copper is a metal recycling material that is recycled successfully and often. Moreover, the recycled product cannot be distinguished from a principal copper source after recyclers have reprocessed the material. By recycling the product, people can increase its efficiency and provide energy savings. Copper recycling also ensures that future generations have a sustainable metal for later use.

Copper Production

Copper producers mine the metal when the right conditions occur. Specifically, producers review geological, financial and environmental circumstances before removing the product from the ground. Copper companies have three main mining methods, which include leaching, surface and underground. However, open pit mining is the method that companies use the most. Once workers have taken ore from a source, most mining companies refine it with a chemical method called flotation. The process crushes and grinds the product. Other refining techniques include the use of solvents as well as electro winning. In electro winning, the material is processed through solvent extraction. After the product is refined, the mining company sends it to a fabricator, which forms it into powder, wire, rods and strips as well as castings and sheets.

Main Uses of Copper

Copper is one of the best materials for electrical components because it faces less resistance than other metals used in the equipment. The material is strong and supple. Furthermore, it is a crucial element in motors, transformers and energy efficient generators.

Electronics and communication systems also benefit from copper. The product permits telecommunication companies to run cables that provide Internet service and telephone communication. Also, in electronic equipment, companies add the material to connectors, switches and transformers.

Construction is another area that requires copper. For example, construction companies use it for plumbing, fittings and valves. In addition, copper constructed indoor sprinkler systems resist corrosion and are durable. When construction companies use copper doorknobs, they decrease the transfer of germs and microbes in buildings.

Transportation companies use copper in motors, brakes and radiators while manufacturers of industrial machinery and equipment need the material to make gears, turbine blades and bearings. Moreover, governments around the world use copper to make currency.


In metal recycling, copper is one of the only products that does not break down or lose its physical or chemical properties. When you send recyclable materials, such as copper, to a scrap metal yard, you are extending the world’s resources as the company will sell it to a recycling agency. Furthermore, the reprocessing method decreases waste and energy use. Therefore, the process of copper recycling is necessary and advantageous to mankind.

The Benefits of Metal Recycling

April 2nd, 2013 by Melanie Ledbetter-Remy

Every year, we recycle about 500 million tons of garbage, and most of that occurs in developed and nearly developed countries. For the past few decades, we have recycled materials like plastic, newsprint, rubber, and cardboard. However, all of those are renewable materials. Metals are precious resources, and we may run out of them one day.

Limited Resources

The world has a limited amount of metal. We are mining and using various metals at alarming rates for use in our homes, businesses, vehicles, and electronics. If we continue to extract metals from the ground at the current rate, we could exhaust the supply of certain metals in the not too distant future.

President Obama and NASA have announced a number of missions to study and harvest asteroids for precious metals, but such mining operations are currently beyond our technological capabilities. Until asteroid mining is a feasible alternative, we are stuck with what we can easily mine here on Earth.

Less Trash

Metals generate billions of tons of garbage every year, and it all ends up in landfills or the ocean. While it can take decades or centuries for metals to deteriorate, and as they do, they continuously release trace amounts into our environment. Those metals end up in our groundwater and contaminate our crops. A little iron is not going to kill anyone, but high levels of copper, barium, lead, and cadmium can lead to health problems like kidney failure and cancer.

Energy Conservation

Mining metal and turning it into a useful product takes a lot of energy. According to the recycling industry, it takes about 20 times as much energy to create an aluminum can from scratch as it takes to recycle an old one.

Metal recycling centers can be located anywhere, but mines must be located at metal deposits. By increasing the number of recycling centers in operation throughout the world, each scrap metal buyer can cut down on the number of recycling trucks on the road and save millions of gallons of fuel every year.


Like most other materials, metals loses almost no mass or structural integrity throughout the entire recycling process. The process is so efficient that the City of San Diego estimates that a single pound of recycled steel saves about 1.25 pounds of raw ore.

Chances are that you already use products that came from a scrap metal yard. For example, over half of all aluminum cans sitting on store shelves come from recycled aluminum. While we are doing a pretty good job of collecting and recycling metals and other materials, we can do better.


Steel, aluminum, and copper recycling efforts have benefits that extend beyond the environment. According to CNN, recycling operations around the world employ about 1.5 million people. The actual number may be much higher than the official figure, but it is impossible to know for sure.

Regardless, millions of people rely on recycling to earn a living. Many recycling operations are supported by local taxes. Without proper funding, recycling centers would be unable to collect plastic, metal, and other materials from homes, and many homeowners would choose to throw them out rather than driving to their local metal recyclers.


Recycling is a surprisingly profitable and efficient industry. Many recycling centers ship recycled aluminum, steel, and other metals to factories in different states or countries.

In 2010, the United States exported about $30 billion in scrap metal to other countries, which helped to offset a trade imbalance caused by manufactured goods, petroleum, and other industries.

Recycling around the world generates about $160 billion in profits a year. It helps to lower the costs of manufactured goods like computers, soda cans, and vehicles, so we all directly benefit from it. Developing countries are also receiving an economic boost from recycling efforts, which provides them with additional money to invest in infrastructure.

Remodeling & Scrap Metal in Houston

June 26th, 2012 by Melanie Ledbetter-Remy

Insulated Wire - Got Scrap

As Houston’s favorite scrap metal buyer, Astro City Scrap Metal, would like to remind you of a few things. When you remodel your home in Houston, you could end up with some valuable scrap metal. Any copper piping – such as plumbing pipes – can be sold to us for some extra “remodeling money.” When it’s time to put in new air conditioners or heating units in your attic, plumbing pipes are usually replaced. Depending on the age of the home, those pipes might be copper and are salvageable. If you are adding new insulation in your attic (which is really smart this time of year), you may remodel a bit in the attic. That is another good time to watch the copper piping and make sure YOU end up with it. Don’t let your builder haul it off.

Transporting scrap metal to our yard is not difficult. Load it up and drive on down. We have outdoor scales that you just drive up on and we way your car/trailer/truck with the copper or other scrap loaded. Then our courteous staff will unload the scrap metal for you, and we’ll reweigh your transport vehicle. All while you watch. This does NOT happen at other Houston scrap metal yards! Give us a chance – call for current copper prices! You’ll be amazed.

Copper is a non-ferrous alloy that we pay top-dollar for at our scrap metal yard in Houston. With outside scales, you see everything as it happens. With free wire stripping services of insulated, copper wire, you can rest assured that our scales are calibrated daily and honesty is a guarantee we stand by. When visiting Astro City Scrap Metal yard off the Loop 610, you’ll drive right up to the gated front metal yard of our company. We will weigh your trailer, car or container WITHOUT having to unload it. Then we will unload your car for you, and reweigh. The difference is what you’ve offered for purchase.

If you are interested, stop by and we’ll show you around. Call today for hours!

Welcome to Astro City Scrap Metal!

April 15th, 2011 by Melanie Ledbetter-Remy

To make your experience here on Astro City Scrap Metal’s website a more pleasurable experience, we are currently updating the website. Please visit back often to see what changes we’ve made! Thanks for being a loyal patron and reader of Astro City’s blog!

Call us and let us know if there is anything we can do to help you protect our environment through recycling your scrap metal parts and pieces in Houston. Call today!