What to Do with Old Cables?

Wires cut open

Living in the technology age means almost everyone has at least one old electric cable lying around, but how do you get rid of old cables? Can electrical cables be recycled? In fact, there are several things you can do with old cables, including recycling them, that are much better than simply throwing them away. Learn more about how to responsibly and easily dispose of old electrical cables. 

Can Electrical Cables Be Recycled?

The good news is yes, electrical cables can be recycled. The first step in recycling electrical cables is to remove the insulating sheath (this component cannot be recycled) to reveal the metal wire below. If your cable is made of copper, you may choose to sell the material or it can be taken to any metal-recycling facility. It is not advised to throw wires into your general recycling bin though, as they may not be able to be properly processed. 

How to Get Rid of Old Cables

In addition to recycling old electrical wires, there are multiple other ways to get rid of old cables: 

  1. Donate to a school of STEM program: electronic donations help young learners understand how technology works. In many instances, old cables will be pulled apart and repurposed as a learning exercise, meaning even broken materials are useful. 
  2. Swap with someone: even if an old cable is no longer useful to you, it may be helpful to a family member or friend whose similar cable got lost or broken. See if anyone in your network could benefit from your unused equipment. 
  3. Return to an electronics store: many technology-driven retails outlets such as Best Buy have in-house electronics recycling programs where you can drop off your unwanted materials. From there, those experts will make sure your old cable is disposed of properly. 

Do Not Throw Away Old Electric Cables 

Whichever method you choose, it’s important to remember that throwing old cables in your garbage should never be an option. When electronics become part of a landfill, their components can leech into surrounding materials and turn into hazardous waste. What’s worse, potentially toxic chemicals can be released into the earth, affecting the soil, water, and area wildlife. 

Replace Old Cables with Gateway Cable Company 

Now that you know how to get rid of old cables, replenish your supply with new cables from Gateway Cable Company. No matter what you’re working on, we can match you with the right wires, components or adaptors to see your project through. Request a quote today!