Did you know recycled glass can be used as a replacement for cement? Yes, you heard it right. In recycling facilities, waste glass can be processed into a cement substitute that can be used as an alternative to concrete or fly ash.
The recycling industry is producing loads of small business ideas for entrepreneurs to start new ventures and also do something for the environment. Glass is a waste that does not degrade in nature, so you must recycle it. Glass bottles and jars are 100% recyclable. Countries like Norway recover an astounding 90 per cent of glass from households and industries.
Glass recycling can provide a good small business opportunity. You can start a business right out of your backyard or garage. If you are planning to venture into the glass recycling business, you first need to understand the process.
How can you recycle glass?
The bottles and the crushed glass go to the feeder hopper. The feeder then feeds the glass into a conveyer belt, which then takes the material into a hammer mill. The hammer has a screen in it, and the glass is crushed by a machine called a jaw crusher to the desired dimensions.
Then the material comes under a magnetic cross-belt that pulls out any contamination like aluminium, steel, or plastic lids. Then the crushed glass is then melted at a very high temperature and moulded into the desired shape to form the finished product.
Glass Recycling Business Plan
Due to poor planning and a lack of management skills, four out of five small businesses fail within the first five years. If you go to a bank or an investor for funding, he would like to see your business plan. After fully understanding the glass recycling business, you have to go to the planning stage.
Read books and talk to experienced and specialist people. Do some research on the different types of glasses and the utility of each. Learn how recycled glass is made and the machinery and technology used.
In order to gain knowledge, you may have to spend some time working in a glass recycling plant.
Carry out feasibility studies before committing your time and money to this new business. The statistics and data that you get from your feasibility studies will help you in budgeting and forecasting. Make sure that the data is current.
2. Make your plan appealing to investors
If you want your business to grow and prosper, you must make it appealing to potential investors. Get a beautiful brochure made having details about your company, your team members, and the value they bring to the company.
3. Obtain a business license
Get a license from your local government authorities. You have to decide whether your business would be a sole proprietorship or a partnership. Hire a printer to print your business cards. Remember to put your phone number.
The amount of money that you are going to need to start this business, depends on the kind of operations you want to have. Glass recycling is a capital-intensive business, though it gives good returns over some time. You need to invest in machines for recycling. You will need collection bags and bins, gloves for handling, and goggles to protect the eyes during crushing.
Glass is heavy and expensive to haul. You have to purchase a pick-up truck or van for transportation. As and when your business expands, you need to rent a storage facility or warehouse to keep the collected glass.
In the executive summary of your financial plan, you must mention the amount of capital you need and how you are going to repay them. You have to make an initial investment to set up your glass recycling unit. You can apply for a small business loan to your local bank or any financial institution if required. You can also approach angel investors and venture capitalists if the need arises.
6. Collection of waste glass
You can give recycling bags to households in your neighbourhood, and tell them to collect old glass bottles in them. You also have to make the rounds of bars and restaurants to collect used bottles. You can put large containers outside these establishments where the staff can place discarded bottles.
Another way to collect glass is to contact the solid waste division of the municipal corporation of your city. After collection, you have to wash the bottles and peel off the labels.
Do you know you can make money just by collecting waste glass? You can earn some income by selling them to entrepreneurial buy-back centres. You also need to register as a vendor with the manufacturers.
Picking up the glass is just the start. You have to bring it back to your sorting yard and segregate it. Then you have to take the sorted material to your glass recycling plant to make new products.
8. Training of workers
You have to give training to your workers in glass recycling. Or, you can hire experienced people to handle all aspects of the business.
9. Decide what type of products you want to make
Research what type of glassware is the most popular and decide what types of products you will make, like bottles, crockery, window-pane, etc. Apart from the usual products, there are two niche areas which are seeing increasing popularity.
- Glass Aggregates
Glass aggregate is made from recycled glass and is used in the making of concrete pavers, tiles, and floorings. This is a profitable business as these items are highly sought after in the construction industry. It also finds application in aquariums and landscaping.
- Stained Glass
You can make stained glass out of recycled glass, which has applications in windows. Also, you can make crafts like picture frames which look very attractive. To make crafts you would need some equipment like a glass cutter, grinder, and emery paper.
There are certain risks that you should consider while making a business plan for your glass recycling company. These are:
- Competitors in the area.
- Various economic factors like a dramatic shift in prices of stock.
- Proximity of raw materials in the location.
- Availability of trained manpower
- Arrangement of capital.
11. Marketing Plan
Marketing is the core of any business. If you are in the process of launching a glass recycling start-up, you should have a great marketing strategy to distinguish your company from others. Its aim should be to increase your sales and profitability.
The marketing plan describes the market and must convince potential investors and lenders that there is enough demand for a new entrant. You can build your marketing plan around the 4 ‘Ps of marketing. They are:
- What Product or service you are going to sell to your customers?
- At what Price are you going to sell them?
- The Place where you will sell to your customers.
- What Promotion will you undertake to attract customers?
There is a saying that there is money to be made from wastes. The fact that there is glass all around us, makes glass recycling one of the lucrative small business ideas. It also makes environmental sense to stop glass from going to the landfill. If you go through the steps we have outlined here, you will have a successful venture in no time.
1) Startups in India: Growth & Other Factors to be Considered for a Startup
2) What Are Some Good Startup Ideas?
3) Where to Get a Small Business License?
4) Startup Ideas: How do you know if your Startup idea already exists?
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Q. What is TAM in respect of market research?
Ans. TAM is the Total Available Market and comprises everyone you want your product to reach.
Q. What is market-based pricing?
Ans. Pricing of a product is very challenging. In market-based pricing, you price your products by seeing and evaluating your competitor’s prices.
Q. Why is it important to mention your future goals in the business plan?
Ans. Banks and investors want to know the goals and vision for your small business in the foreseeable future. So, while writing your business plan, be sure to mention how you see the business growing.
Q. Among the liquor bottles which ones have the most demand?
Ans. Beer bottles sell the largest numbers and are most in demand.
Q. The glass recycling business has one big advantage as compared to other waste recycling raw materials. What is it?
Ans. The majority of raw materials can be collected for free, or at a very low price.