Copper in CRTs: Don’t Just Cut Their Cables Off!

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If you want more information on the CRT, check out HOW TO SCRAP CRTs. I explain how I can make over $20 per hour just pulling these things apart, and where to get the most recycling scrap copper.

CRTs, or cathode ray tubes, are commonly used in TV or Computer Monitors. TVs and computer monitors are so heavy because of the thick leaded glass of the “tube” part of a CRT. All CRTs are made of leaded glass and (none the less) often thrown in the garbage. One way people make money from these material rich products is to rip them apart to harvest their insides. The glass tube is not going to get touched by any scrap yard, but if you cut out the wires, the copper windings, and the degaussing coils, you will make a decent amount of money for not very much work. Surprisingly enough, it just takes a few screws, some side cutters, and about 5 minutes to get yourself a big chunk of copper…. 

Above: An artist depicts a CRT.
Below: A computer monitor has been stripped
of its plastic shell and backing.  
In the artists interpretation at the above-top, you can see the CRT has copper windings at arrows 3 and 4. The degaussing coil, a thick copper cable that is used to “neutralize” outside magnetic fields, is also a necessary component of every CRT. In the above photo, the degaussing coil is the thick black cable wrapped around the monitor, closest to that metal band at the top. On most CRTs its a decent amount of copper you will definitely take out. 

For many of you, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard about taking copper out of monitors (Well that’s because it’s a good idea). What many of you don’t know is that the plastic shell on the outside of the monitors is also recyclable. It sells for 10 cents a pound at a plastics recycling company near me. (They do, however, want to have at least a hundred pounds per transaction.) So if you already take these things apart and are looking for another way to make even more income, go ahead and start stacking the shells and the bases like I have. It doesn’t take that long for it to add up!

Also I have this video showing a German company that specializes in CRT recycling:

The Government of Australia has a nice web page on e-scrap that break a computer monitor and all other types of electronics into further detail.

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