Hints and Tips on Starting a Recycling Business



Recycling business allows you to make profit by helping the environment. Since environment awareness is constantly growing, running a successful recycling business is much more difficult today, than 20 or 30 years ago. Most green entrepreneurs are facing fierce competition in their areas, and that’s why they need to create an efficient and original business model. In this article we will offer you several hints that will help you to build a successful recycling business.

Hints for starting a Recycling Business:

Be specific and unique

There are many different niches that fall under the ‘recycling business’ term.

Before deciding for one specific material or recycling process type, you will need to conduct several important surveys:

  • Market research should determine supply and demand for different scrap materials in your area
  • Competition research should explore your main competitors and determine which recycling fields are not covered;
  • Recycling trends should give you new perspectives on recycling processes and technology

While big businesses mainly focus on paper and glass collection and recycling, you should focus on other materials that aren’t easy to get rid of. Scrap metal is always a good choice, because of its high price, but depending on your funds you can also buy off: batteries, old computers and other electronic equipment, plastics, old furniture, etc.

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Be realistic when it comes to budget

The amount of money you will need, for starting a recycling business depends on the operation you are planning on running. While costs of scrap material processing equipment may vary depending on the materials you want to recycle, there are some fixed costs that each recycling entrepreneur needs to cover.

These include:

  • Taxes for obtaining licenses and permits – Local, state and federal authorities require you to pay for all necessary licenses and permits.
  • Scrap transportation costs – Most entrepreneurs opt for a heavy-duty pickup truck or a van.
  • Space to store recyclable scrap – You should build or rent a storage facility next to your processing plant.
  • Funds for purchasing recyclable scrap – Before the revenue starts flowing in, you’ll need an initial investment for buying off people’s recyclables.
  • Employee wages – Recycling business is very complex and it can’t be run by one person. That’s why you’ll need at least one employee to help you with every-day operations.

Your budget should be realistic, and you should add at least 10% more funds for unexpected expenses that can occur during the incorporation process.

Take a loan

If you don’t have enough money for starting your business, you should consider taking a loan from a bank, credit union, green organization or government institution. Luckily, green orientation of your business can provide you with some very favorable deals.

These are some of the loan options you should consider:

  • Small Business Administration loans for green businesses
  • Environmental Protection Agency’s loans issued by state branches of this institution
  • Loans issued by state government
  • Sustainable Jobs Fund loans, for which you can qualify if you provide jobs to people from economically distressed neighborhood
  • Business and Industry loans for businesses that run their operation in rural area

Give more attention to planning

Planning is very important in green business development. Before you even incorporate all of your new designs into your new company, you will need to file your business plan. This document describes your future business operation in detail and it also explains your business perspective to potential investors. Experts from Slattery Asset Advisory say that you need to plan your business well ahead. Green start-ups tend to grow very fast, and you need to be ready to take initiative and direct your business growth in the right way. Sometimes, this also includes hiring third-party experts and advisors that will help you to keep your company on track.

Since various environmental organizations and governments offer huge financial and advisory support to new recycling companies, this business niche has been very popular during the last few decades. Although new start-ups in this field face fierce competition, there’s still plenty of room for new and innovative business ideas.


About the author

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog! I believe in living green, organically, and natural in every aspect of our lives. My mission is to help educate you on how to live green, help save our environment and to help you and your family live a happier, healthier life!

4 thoughts on “Hints on Starting up a Recycling Business!”

  1. Love this post. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one like it! Great motivational post and keep up the good work to help clean up our precious planet.

    1. HI Nancy,
      Glad you liked my post and found it inspirational. Thanks for being a faithful follower. Have a healthy, happy & blessed day!

  2. Hi Marla,
    This is such a valuable, comprehensive reference! Thank you for sharing “Hints on Starting up a Recycling Business!” at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I’m Pinning and sharing!

Would love to know your thoughts!

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