Electric Motor and Compressor Recycling

Electric motors that have copper windings inside are worth a lot more than ordinary scrap iron.  To get full value, just disconnect it from a mounting base, pulley, pump or anything else that may be attached.  The idea is to sell just the motor itself so the ratio of steel to copper will be correct when the consumer buys it for recycling.

Some appliances, like washers and dryers, have electric motors with aluminum windings.  These are merely worth scrap iron price – they will be sent to a shredder so the aluminum can be separated from the steel after it is ground up.

Refrigeration compressors are used in air conditioning units, refrigerators and freezers.  They have copper windings inside a steel shell.  The steel content is heavier than it is in the electric motors, so they bring less money, but it is still quite a bit more than ordinary scrap iron.

As mentioned on our appliance page, it is illegal to remove a compressor from an appliance before the refrigerant (Freon) has been recovered by a licensed technician.  We will not pay for an air conditioner, freezer or refrigerator if the refrigerant line is cut or the compressor is removed unless we are informed it was performed by a technician and you provide us with his registration information.

Refrigeration compressors are not to be confused with cast iron air compressors, which do not have copper windings inside.  Those are purchased at a price similar to shredder scrap.