Tons of trash generated each day spark concern on environmental health. Messages calling for going green continue to barrage. As an entrepreneur, you should be concerned about the dwindling natural resources. The daily exploitation of raw materials threatens the future of our sustainable economy. Recycling is one solution to this problem. Besides the environmental benefits, you can earn a respectable income, as well.
Dutt writes: “As an entrepreneur one of the easiest ways of making money is by collecting old newspapers and waste, and sell them to a recycling plant in your locality. By collecting and selling paper this way, one can develop a very respectable income with several benefits to our environment.”
We have heard of the “Save the forest” campaign. Engaging in a recycling business does that.
If you have ever considered venturing into a recycling business, I culled great insights from Varun Dutt, who wrote the article “How to be an entrepreneur in the recycling industry”. (Read more.)
What to consider when starting a recycling business:
“…to start a recycling business is to select a niche, that is, the type of waste to recycle. This decision is likely to depend upon the availability of the waste type, the extent of competition in the locality, and the demand for the product. Several materials such as aluminum, cardboard, used oil, office, and computer paper. Have a reliable market and make for potential recycling business opportunities”, says Dutt.
Carefully study the market to know the type of waste locally available and has a ready market. Look for more profitable items available in your locale. Medical devices, catalytic converters, and electronic devices are waste materials that can be sold for a good deal of cash. The key to earn big is to know where to sell your materials.
Collecting recyclables varies from one community to the other. The bulk of the recyclables depends on what materials are available in your community. When choosing the location for your recycling business, consider the factors as Dutt explains:
“The location in turn depend on factors such as land cost, zoning regulations, transportation costs, availability of landfills or incinerators to dispose of the residue after recycling, and proximity to sources of raw materials and markets for finished goods.”
3. Cost assessment
Dutt writes: “Costing is important for a recycling business where the entire business model depends on the costing estimates. The capital costs might include land, the recycling factory, machinery, and the vehicle to collect the waste. The recurrent operation costs include labour, suppliers, administration overhead costs, vehicle fuel and maintenance costs, staff salary, and training costs.”
As with any other businesses, a proper cost assessment ensures that the company has the adequate resources to keep afloat. Proper cost assessment enables you to make smart decisions for your company. Before starting your business, you must have cost estimates of how much you need for a particular span of time. Without it, you might find yourself lacking the necessary financial resources to continue the business.
Identify buyers; know who will buy your recycled products. Your recycled products should occupy and satisfy a specific niche. Most entrepreneurs will agree that there is no product that appeals everyone. So you have to decide what recycled products to sell and to whom.
Dutt warns, “A recycling business would become unviable if there are no takers for the recycled products.”
“Unsorted waste may contain broken glass, rusted iron, dangerous chemicals and acid, which may cause fatal injuries. Thus, providing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, gloves, and surgical masks for workers and providing training to employees to identify and handle hazardous materials might help take care for such safety concerns”, cautions Dutt.
Always consider the hazards that accompany a recycling business. Handling disposable medical devices requires licensing and training. Few entrepreneurs engage in recycling medical devices because of the extra procedures and requirements.
6. Keeping abreast with what’s new
New products are created each day. These products are all potential recyclables. Also, newer technology and systems are constantly evolving. Take time to read what new machinery and systems are available in the market that can boost your business.
“The recycling industry remains in a state of constant flux, with new regulations, technologies, systems, and products evolving by the day.”
Anyone can do the recycling business. As Dutt says, “It certainly does not take any education, specialized training or experience; it’s as simple as saving your old newspapers and waste and turning them in to a central collection depot.”
In a recycling business, you don’t have to make a large scale investment on huge equipments. The only thing you need is information – where and how to collect recyclable materials as well as where to sell them.
Do recycling business appeal to you? Share us your thoughts in the comments below.