Wire and cable

Wire and cable recycling

In the e-scrap context wire is usually plastic coated and cable consists of two or more wires in an outer sheath. Occasional variations include ferrous (in television coaxial cable for instance) or aluminium wires.

Older wire and cable had rubber and fabric insulation. Modern wire and cables are generally plastic coated, usually with PVS but in some cases it is a silicone rubber.

In some countries, including New Zealand, it is illegal to burn any coated wire as a method of recovering the copper since hazardous fumes will be generated.

Wire and cable is able to be recycled and as a bare minimum the conductor is recovered but some the plastic can also be recovered.  Some New Zealand scrap metal recyclers operate cable shredding machinery.


Further information

  • Clause 9 of the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2004
  • Wire at Wikipedia