How to Start a Composting Business in Easy Steps?

. 7 min read
How to Start a Composting Business in Easy Steps?

Do you want to start a composting business? Our actions have consequences, good and bad. Experts say that 30% of household wastes are compostable and composting is a great way to recycle biodegradable wastes. It also reduces our carbon footprint and helps us to live sustainably.

What is composting?                        

Certain organic items meant for trash such as apple cores, mango skin, leaves or banana peels can be turned into a nutrient-rich medium. The process by which it is done is called composting. It can be used to nourish the soil, and farmers often refer to compost as ‘black gold.

There is a growing market for environmentally friendly products and services. A composting waste management business helps keep the community clean. Up to 60% of a restaurant’s waste is recyclable food scraps.

A step-by-step guide to starting a composting business

Composting is becoming a popular method of disposing and creating a valuable product and becoming a viable business opportunity. Starting a composting business requires a lot of dedication, effort, and passion.  In this article, we will tell you how to start a business in composting.

Step 1. Learn the basics

One of the first things is to ask yourself whether composting is the right business for you. You have to be willing to learn and make some investments. You can attend a workshop on composting at the local agricultural university.

It will be helpful for you to understand the following before going into business:

  • Local regulations regarding waste management.
  • Composting cycles.
  • Large-scale composting methods.
Compost box with with funny worms

Step 2. Plan your business

A composting business is easy to establish and the start-up costs are minimal. It is best to start it as a side business because the composting process takes six to twelve months to complete. A clear plan is essential to make your business a success. Find out how much compost you can produce and sell.

While starting the business you have to decide what type of composting you will do, and what materials you will use.

Step 3. Research and identify your target markets

Before you take the risk of starting the most profitable small business of composting, think about the inbound and outbound markets. Inbound markets are businesses like coffee shops or hotels, institutions, or people who will pay you to take away their food scraps. Outbound markets are the businesses and people who will take away your finished product. They may be gardeners or local farmers.

If you scale up, you can cater to gardening supply stores, landscape designers, institutions, and large farms. You can also ship it out across the country.

Step 4. Register your business

Pick a name that resonates with your business. It should be easy to remember, and show up well in online searches. Your business should be registered properly and legally compliant. You should apply for a GST number.

Make contact with your state’s municipal department that regulates landfills to collect organic waste from them. Since you will be working on reducing waste and recycling, you may be eligible for tax benefits for owning a green business.

Once you have registered your business, open a commercial account with a bank.

Step 5. Find out the costs involved

The cost of land will be the major expense in this business. Other costs will be on labor, tools, maintenance, and transportation. You may have to invest in a truck for hauling and distributing compost.

Step 6. Secure Funding

You will need money for your start-up costs like land acquiring and preparation, purchase of equipment, etc. You can take a loan from a bank or approach investors.

Step 7. Select an appropriate site

Your site selection will depend on things like regulations, proximity to the market, etc. If you have a sizeable backyard in your home, you can start your composting business there. Or, you can do it at a local farm. If you want to do it on a big scale, you have to operate out of a large facility.

An area where there are community gardens or environmental clubs may be a promising neighbourhood.

Step 8. What can you compost?

Two types of matter can be used for composting: green and brown. The greens provide protein and nitrogen and aid microbial growth that encourages decomposition. The browns absorb moisture, add bulk, allowing bacteria and fungi to thrive, and encourage airflow. The green matter includes produce-based wastes like apple cores or banana peels and grass clippings. The brown matter includes items such as leaves, paper, tree bark, and twigs.

Cow dungs, dry leaves, sawdust, and vegetable wastes are some of the materials that you can use for preparing different waste mixtures. You can collect the vegetable wastes from people’s homes or local hostels. The dung can be collected from nearby villages.

Step 9. How to compost?

Mix two parts of brown matter with one part of green matter, and add moisture to dampen the pile. Microorganisms such as bacteria present in the decaying pile, help in the process of decomposition. You should aerate the pile with a pitchfork by turning it over. The pockets of air so created will aid in the decomposition process.

Step 10. Types of composting methods

We will share some composting methods that can work for any situation.

  • Heap Composting

This is a common and popular method for people with outdoor space. You can keep the pile as it is, or keep it in a composting bin.

  • Onsite Composting

Onsite composting requires very little equipment or time. It is an easy process that uses wood waste.

  • How to start a vermicomposting business?

Worm composting is defined as the production of compost with the use of worms. It is a fast way to convert farm waste into organic fertiliser. The initial investment is very less and can be done on a small scale in the backyard.

An aspiring entrepreneur looking for small business ideas can initiate a vermicomposting organic fertiliser production business. But he should first know the manufacturing process. A mixture of decomposing food wastes or vegetables then placed in a large bin containing bedding materials, and earthworms or wrigglers are then put inside the bin. The decomposition process creates a dark soil-like substance called vermicompost that can be used as a natural fertiliser.

hands throwing out kitchen waste from cutting board to the garden compost heap

Step 11. Collection of Waste

You can take resident’s waste for a fee. You have to provide them with plastic bins where they can keep their wastes for you to collect. Find places that give away their organic waste products for free. But, you may have to pick them up.

Step 12. Marketing

Marketing is a crucial part of the success of the composting business. You can target farmers and gardeners engaged in crop production, floriculture, or horticulture. You can use the internet to connect with faraway customers


Composting work can be dirty and smelly. Hence it attracts all kinds of pests. Though you can start this business in a small way, eventually you would need sufficient land and storage space. In cities, that might be a problem. There will be logistics involved in scaling up.

Adding compost is one of the best ways to make a farm or a garden thrive without the use of harmful chemicals. Compost can be sold to farmers or the residents in a neighbourhood and is in huge demand due to the flourishing market for organic produce. It is the perfect venture among the green small business ideas with a lot of growth potential.

Also Read:

1) How to Start a Computer Training Institute?
2) How to Invest Money? Investment Tips for Small Businesses
3) How To Start A Car Rental Business?
4) How to Start a Coaching Institute for English Speaking Class?

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Q. What waste materials should I not compost?

Ans. Animal waste, bones, or bread should never go into the compost pile because they hinder the composting process and attract pests.

Q. What equipment would I need for starting a composting business?

Ans. You would be needing bagging equipment and basic garden tools like shovels, a pitchfork, and a wheelbarrow. You would also need a compost turner to mix air and speed up the decomposition process.

Q. What is trench composting?

Ans. This method is suitable for a garden and involves burying kitchen waste into the soil.

Q. What are organic waste converting machines?

Ans. These are machines for waste management that can handle large volumes of wet scrap easily and produce nutrient-dense manure.

Q. What is site preparation?

Ans. It is construction work consisting of grading, surface preparation, the building of structures, fencing, etc.