Everyone on the job has caught "copper fever". The GC demos the low voltage ( sometimes some they weren't supposed to) before the low voltage contractor, who is contracted by the tenant, even hits the job. What amazes me is that although unstripped THHN brings around a dollar a pound, these guys are getting 90 cents a pound for phone and data wire. I don't understand it because I would think most of the weight is in the insulation, isn't it something like #22 wire size? Although most of it is 8 conductor, how can it compare in price with regular electrical wire? One guy was telling me that it is a higher grade of wire, but I'm not buying it, yet. Anyone have any comments?
It's generally four pair, 24 gauge by today's standards, but older telephone wire can be anywhere from 2 pair to 100+ pair. 22 gauge is pretty uncommon. It's the same quality of copper. I agree that it's mostly plastic, and I've never seen anything close to 90 cents a pound for it. I'm not buying that either.
I've known this sort of thing has been going on for quite some time, but the pictures of fields and warehouses full of e-waste are amazing! While I understand the drive for "better" & faster technology, I don't understand why so much useable equipment is thrown away. Things like monitors, keyboards, printers, etc. will work just as well with your new computer as they did with your old one. I suppose it's because computers are priced, so that these things are all bundled together. I personally have used the same computer for almost 8 years now, and make a hobby out of refurbishing and reselling old computers (specifically, Macs).