Recycling old electronics has become a big business as e-waste can contain large quantities of precious metals like gold, platinum and copper. Large and bulky photocopiers contain quite a bit of copper tubing and wires, so much so that around 5 pounds can be extracted from each one. These large copiers are sent to be destroyed in a giant shredder, where a refinery then melts everything down and harvests all of the copper. After the copper is separated, it is converted into sheets that are used to make instruments, like horns and trumpets. Check out the entire process below and learn how that beautiful trumpet may have once been a copier in an office.
Once the copper is removed from the old photocopiers, it is combined with zinc to create brass sheets. Skilled craftsmen take these copper sheets and turn them into trumpet bells through rolling and hammering. With the recycling business growing so much these days, some refineries are able to get all or most of their metal from recycled sources.
We know many products are recycled, but it can often be weird to think of what the materials of our products used to be. That Coke bottle could have previously been a Boeing, or your trumpet could have been a photocopier.
[Image Source: Science Channel]
Written by Trevor English