Best Waste Management Business Ideas [A Complete Guide]

. 7 min read
Best Waste Management Business Ideas [A Complete Guide]

Do you want to start a business in recycling? Global warming and environmental sustainability have become one of the greatest concerns of today. Recycling wastes is a must to protect the environment. There are many kinds of wastes and different types of small business ideas in recycling that depend on industrial outputs.

Why start a waste management business?

Increasing consumerism, growing population, and accelerated use of electronic equipment like computers and TVs have made waste recycling a key focus area in India. India is the world’s third-largest e-waste generator, producing over 3 million metric tonnes per year. Seelampur in Delhi is India’s largest unorganised e-waste recycling area where computer peripherals, laptops, and mobile phones are salvaged. The waste management business in India is expected to be a $14 billion market by 2026.

Your company can provide services like collection, transportation, and disposal of wastes, or get into recycling and recovery of resources. One can earn good profits from a waste management business, besides contributing positively to society. Before you start a business in this sector, you should consider a few things.

How to start a business in waste management?

1. Choose the right one

Firstly, decide what kind of waste you want to recycle. There are plenty of wastes in different sectors like household waste, construction waste, electronic waste, industrial waste, and so on. The waste management industry is vast and comprises both large and small-scale players.

To make your selection easier, consider your budget and the product that you want to make.

2. Gain Knowledge

Secondly, after the selection of the recycling business idea, you should have a thorough knowledge of the process of recycling. Buy machinery accordingly.

3. Market Research

Learn extensively about the products of recycling, along with their marketing. Then take up the recycling business idea.

In this article, we will explore some profitable recycling small business ideas.

1. Biomedical Waste Management

As you know, medical wastes, in most cases, are hazardous and harmful to health. But you can be of great help to the hospitals and the society, along with making profits for yourself. Medical waste recycling involves the collection and treatment of biomedical (including Covid ) waste from hospitals and clinics located across the country.

A large portion of medical wastes like syringes and needles, soiled clothing, etc. can be recycled. Autoclaving, gas sterilisation and chemical disinfection are some of the main methods used to recycle medical waste.

2. Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Management

Do you know you can refurbish and resell old or malfunctioning electronics and CDs? There is a lot of prospects in this area, as 95 percent of the business is in the informal sector. A study by ASSOCHAM says that computer waste generates 70% of the total e-waste in India, followed by phones (12%), and electrical equipment (8%). Once e-waste is salvaged, it gives precious metals such as copper, iron, and tin.

Rare metals like gold, palladium, and ruthenium can be found in printed circuit boards. To get your hands on these valuable ‘wastes’, you have to contact the neighbourhood kabadiwalas.

3. Scrap Metal Depot

Manufacturers reuse scrap metal to make various products that is why it has a great demand in the international market. You have to network with small-scale scrap metal dealers and scavengers and buy the product they source off the street. You can export them to countries like China and Germany at a neat profit.

4. Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) Recycling

PVC or Poly Vinyl Chloride is mainly used in the manufacturing of pipes, shades, tanks, etc. You can take the rejected PVC, treat them, and use them to produce new goods. This is a common and useful recycling idea.

Chemical processes such as Pyrolysis, Hydrolysis, and heat are used to convert the waste into its chemical components. The end products are numerous like sodium chloride, calcium chloride, hydrocarbon products, and heavy metals, to name a few. Some of these are used to produce new PVC, as feed for other manufacturing processes, or as fuel.

Also Read: Top Waste Management Companies In India

5. Landfill-Gas to Energy

Much of the waste in India simply ends up in landfills without proper treatment. You can cater to commercial, residential, industrial, and municipal customers. Landfill gas generators use carbon dioxide and methane that are a by-product of the decomposition of organic waste materials. These are used to produce clean and renewable electricity.

6. Construction Waste Recycling

Generally, solid wastes are non-biodegradable, and cannot be recycled. But you can collect solid scraps from construction sites and manufacture bricks from them. This is one of the most profitable small business ideas in the recycling ecosystem.

The wastes have to be first treated and then compressed to give them the desired shape. The end product is stronger, having a long life cycle. These bricks can be sold to local construction and real estate companies in small units. By signing a contract with builders, you can trade in bulk also.

You can re-use interlock tiles, partition boards, false ceiling materials, etc. after colouring or small repairs.

7. Plastic Recycling Plant

Plastic is a non-biodegradable item and can be melted down and remoulded into different shapes. A large number of plastic products are discarded daily bottles and packaging is the chief culprit. To collect them meet scavengers from whom you can collect in bulk at cheap rates.

Ramky Enviro is the largest plastic recycler in India and manages the waste at its plant at Visakhapatnam. Its products are used in packaging by many top FMCG companies. Their processing plant can recycle all types of flexible and rigid plastics, including HDPE, LDPE, and PP.

8. Utensil Recycle Business

Most people throw away their old utensils. But you can use these discarded utensils to start your recycling business. Most utensils are made of steel, copper, or iron. In your recycling plant, you can melt them, and make new utensils. Or, you can sell the retrieved metals to other businessmen.

9. Nuclear Waste Management Business

Recycling nuclear waste and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, which is used to make electricity, is a lucrative business. But, handling the highly toxic radioactive material can be a challenge. However, managing and disposing of the nuclear waste costs only 5% of the value of the electricity generated, leaving sufficient margin to make the waste disposal profitable.

Fresh green leaf recycle symbol on wooden desk with blurred background

10. Green Waste Management Business

Yes! Muck, trash, and waste can be the raw materials for your business. Biological waste or ‘green’ waste is any organic waste that can be composted. Due to the pandemic, many cities have suspended roadside organic waste collection. These wastes are high in concentration of nitrogen. You can collect and recycle them to start your composting business.

11. Glass Recycling Business

Did you know that bars, pubs, and restaurants send 200,000 tonnes of glass to landfills each year?  Glass can be easily melted down and remade into different kinds of shapes. It can then be used to make various materials like light bulbs, drinking glasses, and sculptures.

Swachh Bharat and Waste Management

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has allocated over Rs 12,000 crores for the Swachh Bharat program in this year’s budget. This has a huge impact on the waste management industry. The Government’s focus is now on a more technology-driven collection, processing, and treatment of waste.

Waste is being generated every day in all corners of the world. By taking up any of the recycling small business ideas that we explored in this article, you will be protecting the environment on one hand and earning profits on the other.

Also Read:

1) Best Business Ideas for Teenagers
2) What Are Some Business Ideas for Women in Kanpur?
3) Best small business ideas under 50,000
4) OkCredit: All you need to know about OkCredit & how it works.

Stay updated with new business ideas & business tips with OkCredit blogs in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi & more!
Download OkCredit now & get rid of your bookkeeping hassles.
OkCredit is 100% Made in India.


Q. What are the main factors to consider before establishing a waste management business?

Ans. The important things to look out for our employees, location, and vehicles.

Q. What are the uses of natural gas generated from bio-waste?

Ans. This can be used as ‘green’ fuel for vehicles and run industrial waste incinerators.

Q. I have a spare truck. Can it be a part of my waste management business?

Ans. Yes, You can use it to collect waste from houses and industries, in exchange for a small fee.

Q. Is the rubber recycling business a good idea?

Ans. Of course, Rubber is much sought after for making plastic products, railway equipment, etc.

Q. What is the amount of bio-medical waste generated in India?

Ans. The total amount of medical waste is nearly 500 tons per day.