Baling wire for recycling copper

According to the US Geological Survey, copper recovered from scrap contributed to approximately 32% of supply in 2021. We are proud to support the copper recycling industry with high-quality wire products.

Our partnership with copper recyclers

Baling wire is a critical component of effective recycling operations. Our wire products are made from 100% US steel. This allows us to support domestic industry, cut shipping emissions, and provide exceptional quality products. 

Our commitment to recycling goes beyond supplying baling wire. We also promote the recycling of used baling wire. This process allows copper recyclers to keep precious resources within the recycling loop.

The future of the copper recycling market

The future of the copper recycling market looks promising, with significant growth anticipated. The global recycled copper market was estimated at $238.61 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $330.83 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.88% throughout 2023–2028.

The main sources of recyclable copper

Copper is one of the most recyclable metals; it is infinitely recyclable without loss of quality, strength, or durability. The main sources of recyclable copper include:

  • Recycled scrap from the waste stream. Up to 60% of all copper sources come from recycled scrap for US copper and brass mills.
  • End-of-life products. Copper wire is recovered from end-of-life products such as electrical wiring, plumbing, and industrial machinery.
  • Manufacturing processes. Usable copper is recovered from slag, dross, or mill scale arising from production processes or life-expired assemblies of components.

The recycling of copper plays a crucial role in meeting growing material demands.

The copper recycling process

The copper recycling process involves several steps, including:

  1. Copper scrap collection. Recycled copper comes from waste streams such as demolition projects, old buildings, equipment, and infrastructure where copper-containing items such as pipe or wire are removed.
  2. Dissolution and recovery. Some copper recycling methods involve dissolving only the copper metal in a solvent, removing the remaining resin, and then recovering the copper for reuse.
  3. Melting and casting. Once the copper is pure, it is melted and cast into ingots or billets.
  4. Reuse. The reformed copper can be sold back to manufacturers for use in new products.

The copper recycling process promotes the circular economy, with a focus on avoiding waste and preventing copper fumes from escaping into the atmosphere.

Benefits of recycling copper

The benefits of recycling copper include:

  • Conservation of natural resources. Precious fossil fuels and natural resources are conserved through recycling. The amount of copper recycled almost equals the amount of new copper mined annually.
  • Reduction of energy requirements and CO2 emissions. The copper recycling process requires less energy than primary production and reduces CO2 emissions.
  • Job creation. Many jobs are created to assist in scrap collection and the physical processing of recycled copper.
  • Reduction of landfill waste.

Challenges of recycling copper

The challenges of recycling copper include:

  • Decreasing availability. Copper scrap recycling is becoming more difficult due to decreasing amounts of new scrap.
  • Complexity of the recycling process. The copper recycling process can be complex, especially when dealing with contaminated scrap that cannot be normally processed.
  • Contamination and quality control. When copper is associated with other materials such as tin or solder, separation can pose challenges.

These challenges can be addressed through increased consumer awareness and expanded recycling programs.

Best baling wire for recycling copper

We make the world’s best baling wire products for copper waste and other recyclables. Some of our wire products for baling copper include:

  • Galvanized wire. Known for its strength and durability, galvanized wire is ideal for securely tying the bales produced by copper balers.
  • Black annealed wire. This type of wire undergoes an annealing process to become more pliable and easy to use.
  • Stem wire. Our baler wire is available in large spools known as stems. Stem wire is suitable for handling substantial amounts of copper and ideal for use in auto-tie balers.
  • Bale ties. We sell bale ties in single loop and double loop varieties.

We manufacture both Class 1 and Class 3 galvanized products. While Class 1 galvanization is cheaper, Class 3 offers substantially greater corrosion resistance.

Common types of balers used in copper recycling

Copper balers are used to make the recycling process more efficient and cost-effective. Different types of balers are commonly used in the copper recycling industry, including vertical balers, horizontal balers, and two-ram balers.

  • Vertical balers are generally more affordable and take up less space than horizontal balers, making them popular for small-scale operations. They typically require single loop bale ties to be hand-tied to secure bales.
  • Horizontal balers are also utilized to compact copper into bales. They take up more floor space but handle much higher volumes of material than vertical balers.
  • Two-ram balers handle high quantities of copper. They can generally accept more material at a time and the second ram creates more precise bale sizes, making them ideal for preparing bales for shipment.

By using the appropriate baler, recyclers can improve efficiency and productivity.

Our copper baling wire sizes

Our wire products are ideal for copper baling applications. We sell wire in a wide variety of sizes that are compatible with a range of baling machines, including vertical and horizontal balers.

Gauge is the standard way of sizing baling wire for recycling. Wire gauge is inversely related to diameter, meaning that a smaller wire diameter corresponds to a higher gauge wire.

  • Our hi-tensile galvanized wirecomes in 11 and 12 gauge.
  • Our regular galvanized wire comes in 11, 12, 13, and 14 gauge.
  • Our black annealed baling wire comes in 9, 10, 11, and 12 gauge.
  • Our single and double-loop bale ties come in 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 gauge (with half sizes available in select products).

If you’d like to know more about wire gauge, check out our American wire gauge chart.

Copper baling wire recycling categories

We offer a wide range of copper baling products. Order bulk quantities of box wire, stem wire, or bale ties. Click on any category to learn more.

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Flanagan, D. M. (2021, 01 01). Mineral Commodity Summaries 2022. Mineral Commodity Summaries 2022 - Copper. Retrieved January 16, 2024, from

Market Data Forecast. (2024, 01 16). Recycled Copper Market | Size, Share, Growth | 2023 - 2028. Market Data Forecast. Retrieved January 16, 2024, from

Further Reading