Cables, that are the indispensable parts of electrical and electronic industry, consist of
plastics, aluminum, and copper. Cables are usually recycled once the electronic apparatus complete their useful lives. The old fashioned way of recovery process is to burn the plastic that covers the wire, and then recover the copper and aluminum. But this technique is extremely harmful to the environment since it releases toxic gases. Waste cables are very important source of raw material in terms of their non-ferrous metal content and it is an
obligatory measure to recover these metallic contents both for economical and ecological
reasons. The recovery of these metals decreases the danger of global warming. Metals can be infinitely recycled without compensating form their initial quality. Moreover, the recycling
procedures generally consume much less energy than primary production methods and its CO2 emissions are decreased. The aim of this research is to recover copper from waste electrical cables by the application of physical and chemical separation techniques. Waste cables are shredded first to decrease their size and the metallic parts are separated from plastics physically by using gravity and electrostatic separation techniques. Then copper was recovered from metallic part by smelting and refining. As a result of this experimental study, 97.2% of copper in waste cables is recovered and refined copper with 99.6 %Cu content is produced.
Keywords: cables, copper, plastics, recycling