Is Recycling A Good Business Idea?

. 5 min read
Is Recycling A Good Business Idea?

Is Recycling A Profitable Business?

In the 21st Century, the problem of environmental degradation has been brought to the forefront. The concepts of Global Warming and the effect that it is subsequently going to have on earth and our civilization is yet to be fully gauged. The effects are obviously going to be catastrophic to human lives. We produce enormous quantities of hazardous waste and this is continuously further degrading the situation. It is estimated that 2.01 billion tons of solid municipal waste are generated by us each year. The number is projected to rise to around 3.40 billion tons by 2050.

As humans, it is absolutely mandatory for us to do our bit to restrict the degradation of the environment. Reusing, refusing, reducing, and recycling are regarded as a few of the ways. The general public is now aware of environmental degradation more than ever. Recycling is actually a recent trend that seems to be gaining momentum. While industries like paper and glass have high recycling rates, plastic recycling is still as low as 9%.

The practise of recycling has definite environmental benefits. But recycling is not just restricted to being a social service. Commercial recycling has gained popularity as more and more people realise the need for recycling. Recycling has been adopted by several organisations as it has enabled them to reduce their cost of operation. But recycling has reached beyond the boundaries of existing organisations. There are firms that were created and operate with the sole objective of waste management.

How to Start a Recycling Business?

Recycling businesses differ from personal recycling. If you think recycling is a good business plan, here are three factors you first need to know.

  1. Firstly, we need to have a clear idea as to where we get the waste from and to whom shall we sell our products.
  2. Market research is important to detect the availability of any existing business with the same business plan and is already operating in the territory we have identified to function in.
  3. Secondly, it is very important that we draw up a proper business plan.
  4. The decisions as to targeted markets, advertising strategies, initial capital, projected revenue and the operational plan need to be in place.
  5. Thirdly, we need to obtain a business license from the government and make sure we adhere to the rules and regulations set by the government in respect of waste disposal and treatment of waste.

What are the kinds of Recycling Business?

Recycling businesses can include recycling of various materials. Here is a list of things that are recycled for commercial purpose:

1. Aluminum

Ever thought where the cans of soft beverages end up once we threw the cans away? Turns out, that a large portion of the aluminum waste ends up getting recycled. Aluminum is the most recyclable element among all metals. The collection of aluminum waste is the main challenge to recycling. Setting up specialized bins, segregation of waste and even setting up scrap centers are a few of the ways to collect aluminum. Once the challenges are met and the waste is collected, reshaping takes place and the final product can fetch as much as 16% - 20% of the profit.

2. Plastic

From the most recycled metal to the least recycled material. The recycling of plastic has a market that has not been largely explored. It is estimated that only 9% of the plastic waste generated by us is recycled. Ironically, plastic is among the most hazardous wastes that are produced by humans. Recycling them may also help reduce the quantity of plastic in the environment, thereby benefiting all of humanity. Plastic can be recycled to produce polythene, bottles, buckets, and several other day-to-day objects that have great utility to us. After continued recycling, when the plastic is no longer usable, it has the potential to be used as adhesive or even in construction.

3. Recycling of Construction Waste

Construction is a complex process and a lot of collateral waste is produced during the whole process of construction. However, the variety of the waste that it produces is rather broad. The types of waste, once segregated, can actually provide a lot of recyclable materials. However, the ones collecting the waste to recycle shall need to have a versatile plant in order to maximise the recycling of material. Wood, brick, metal wires, alloys like steel, etc. are some of the commonly found recyclable materials.

4. Paper Recycling

Paper recycling is actually an ancient practice and has been carried on for centuries. However, with the increase in population and information, the consumption of paper has shot up too. This means a greater need for paper, thus a greater quantity of trees sacrificed. By regularly practicing the art of recycling, we can not only save trees from being cut down to make paper but also cater to a large market that demands more and more amounts of paper. Paper recycling needs some basic requirements like water and electricity supply. If one can get authorisation from the government and related departments, setting up a recycling plant can cost anywhere from Rs.3 to Rs.15 lakhs depending on the size.

5. Electronic Waste

The production of electricity is a complex process and produces huge quantities of waste. Among the waste products are elements like cadmium, phosphorus, lead, etc. that are known to be of great commercial importance. These metals can be used to produce several other products or they can be directly sold off. However, the waste that the production of electricity consequently produced is very hazardous. Therefore, it is important to have experts present in the team if the segregation of electronic waste is undertaken. The fact that this hazardous waste does not end up in the ecosystem, untreated, is one of the up-sides of recycling electronic waste. Authorisation from the government is mandatory when dealing with electronic waste.

6. Tire Recycling

Vehicles are a part of our lives that we have taken for granted by now. The increase in the number of vehicles means that the number and need for tires have gone up as well. As more and more vehicles operate, the depreciation of the quality of tires also increases. The old and worn-out tires are often treated as waste. Nevertheless, they do have the potential to be recycled. The rubber can be recycled and molded and thus a lot of wastage of rubber can be avoided. The need for tires shall remain high as we continue to innovate new vehicles. Therefore, it is a business proposition that is not bound to go out of trend anytime soon.

Recycling is the need of the hour. Our planet needs to be taken care of and there is nothing nobler than to do it at present. Recycling, when undertaken with the view of commercial benefit, becomes furthermore efficient. Recycling Businesses are not just noble but highly profitable too. The cost of acquiring waste is very low, while the operational cost of a plant may be higher, the demand and consequently the price of the final goods ensure a hefty profit. The whole process of transforming waste into reusable goods has opened up a new alley of investment.

The challenges that the firms of this industry faces are synonymous with the challenges of every other industry. But with proper knowledge and a desire to do good for the planet, recycling can prove to be a good business idea.

Also read:

1) How to Start Recycling Business In India?
2) How Do I Start An E-Waste Recycling Company?
3) Textile Waste Recycling Business - A Sustainable Way to Success!
4) Non-biodegradable Waste: A Looming Problem For All Of Us