How To Start a Recycling Business in 11 Steps

Editorial Team

How To Start a Recycling Business

Recycling is growing in demand every day, from larger cities to smaller urban and rural areas. If you wish to dabble in such a business, several opportunities exist. However, these differ from country to country, depending on their existing regulations and infrastructure. If you want to set up such a company, we detail below the steps to follow.

1. Choose What To Recycle

Before recycling, there are a few things businesses need to keep in mind. First and foremost, companies must have a sorting and collection system to recycle the correct materials. Second, companies must have the proper equipment and facilities to handle recycled materials. And finally, businesses must have a marketing strategy to promote their recycling program to the public.

When you wish to set up a recycling company, there are different segments to consider. You could work with the following:

Food Waste

Food waste is a problem that every country collects a significant amount of from different stores, restaurants, and other outlets. If you could make a business of collecting and recycling such waste, it could help reduce such wastage.

Food waste is a by-product of the food industry. It can refer to food that is not consumed, such as produce, meat, dairy products, leftovers, and bakery products. In developed countries, food waste creates about 20% of the total generated waste. In developing countries, the figure is much higher, at about 50%.

Recycling possible food waste into energy, fertilizer, and other products. It can also be composted to create fertilizer. In developed countries, much of the food waste is composted. However, in developing countries, the composting process is still in its infancy.

Food waste collection and recycling is a growing industry. Many companies collect and recycle food waste. By processing food waste, these companies create a variety of products.


There is a huge market for recycled paper, and those who recycle paper usually sort the paper from inorganic waste. These are then bleached and turned into the recycled paper used by other industries.

Some of the most common recycled paper products are paper cups, cardboard boxes, and paper towels. The use of paper cups are popular for hot drinks, and cardboard boxes are often used for groceries. Paper towels are often used for cleaning surfaces.

The recycling process for paper usually starts with sorting paper into different categories. Inorganic materials and the type of paper determine their composition. Paper made from organic materials, such as cotton, is usually not recycled.

After the paper is sorted, it is usually bleached. Removing the ink and other chemicals that make the material unusable is necessary. Bleaching can also make the material more translucent.

Paper is recycled after it is bleached. It is made by adding a coating of resins to the material. The resins make the material more durable, and they also make the material easy to print on.

The recycled paper is then often sourced by other industries. It is because recycled paper is more durable than traditional paper. It is also easier to print on, which makes it a popular choice for products such as flyers and brochures.

Plastic And Glass

Plastic and glass have a recycled value in the market. Glass is melted and made into different items. Many methods are used to recycle plastic, depending on its degree and quality. These again have many uses in many industries.

The most common way to recycle plastic is by using it to make new plastic products. It is a process called “polymerization”. It is when small plastic molecules are put together and made into larger molecules. It is what happens when you recycle plastic.

Another way of recycling plastic is by breaking it down into smaller pieces. It is called “degradation”. It is when the plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. It happens because of the chemical reactions that take place.

The final way of recycling plastic is by burning it. It is called “incineration”. It is when the plastic is burned to create heat and energy. It is done so that the plastic can be turned into ash.

All of these processes have different benefits. One benefit of recycling plastic is that it can help to reduce the amount of plastic that is being thrown away. Several uses can be made of plastic because it can be recycled.

Another benefit of recycling plastic is that it can help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas that is being released. It is because plastic is made of carbon, and burning plastic releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Finally, recycling plastic can help to reduce the amount of waste that is being produced. Multiple recycling processes are possible with plastic. It means that less new plastic is being created.

Indeed, the list of items that can be recycled is a long one. Again, you could choose to be a vendor who collects and sends different materials for recycling to many vendors. You could specialize in recycling a particular material and link it up with industries that have used such recycled items. Ink cartridges, batteries, tires, computers, fabrics, and scrap metal are also commonly recycled.

2. Decide How To Collect The Waste

Once you decide which item to reuse, you need to plan how to collect the waste and process the same. You can have the following arrangements for picking up the trash:

Drop Off At Facility

You can arrange for the waste to be dropped off at your recycling center.

Pickup From The Curb

In this, you make arrangements with the municipality to collect the waste materials from neighborhoods or homes of city residents.

Drop Off Centers

Drop-off centers are usually assigned for different wastes across a city. Many recycling outfits make arrangements to pick up garbage from these centers.

3. Determine Profitability

Before you delve into a recycling business in your country or region, decide the balance between costs and profits. It would make sense to run such a business only if you can see a clear line of profitability in this line of work in your region.

In such a line of business you need to consider the following costs:

  • The first cost you need to consider is baling. You need to create a system for containing the recycled materials so they can be transported and sold. It can involve sorting the materials into different categories, such as plastics, paper, metals, and so on.
  • The second cost is sorting. You need to be able to identify the different materials and sort them into appropriate containers. It can be a time-consuming process, so you need to be able to handle a high amount of recycled materials.
  • The third cost is storage. You can find a place to store the recycled materials until they can be delivered to the market. It can be a costly process, so you need to be able to make a profit on the materials you sell.
  • The final cost is delivery. Find a way to transport the recycled materials to the market. It can be a difficult task, and you need to be able to make a profit on the materials you sell.

Once you have calculated the costs and profits involved in recycling, you can begin to make a profit. You need to be aware of the current market conditions and be able to adjust your prices accordingly. However, if you can see a clear line of profitability in this line of work, recycling can be a great way to help the environment and save money.

4. Create A Business Plan

You have decided that a business is the right thing for you and you are ready to take the next step. Congratulations! The first thing you need to do is create a business plan. A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and objectives. You must have a good business plan if you want to be successful. A professional business plan can help you get loans and can help you to identify and address any potential challenges early on.

Creating a business plan can be daunting, but it is worth it. There are a few things to consider when creating your business plan. First, you need to have a clear vision for your business. What are your goals for your business? What are your long-term goals? What are your short-term goals? What are the steps you need to take to reach your long-term goals? Once you have a clear vision for your business, you can start to develop your strategies. What are your marketing strategies? What are your financial tactics? What are your labor strategies? Once you have a plan for each area of your business, you can start to develop your plans.

Creating a business plan is necessary, but it is not the end of the road. You also need to make sure that you are following through with your plans. Are your marketing strategies working? Are your financial strategies effective? Are your labor strategies effective? Once you are following through with your plans, you can start to see results. If you are not following through with your plans, you may need to make some changes. A good business plan will help you to make those changes and will help you to be successful.

5. Determine Business Costs

A recycling business can be a very profitable venture. The main costs involved in setting up and running a recycling business are hiring employees and providing benefits, such as medical insurance. There are also costs associated with renting space, purchasing equipment, and marketing the business.

The main expense involved in operating a recycling business is the salary of the employees. However, other costs, such as rent, utilities, and equipment rentals, can also be high. It is necessary to research these costs before starting a recycling business so that you can budget for them.

6. Marketing

When starting a recycling business, one of the necessary expenses to consider is marketing. By advertising, you can attract new customers and keep those you have happy. However, advertising can be expensive, so it is necessary to make sure that the advertising is effective.

There are a few different ways to measure the effectiveness of advertising. One way is to look at how many people came to your recycling center as a direct result of your advertising. This method is called “direct response” marketing. Another way to measure the effectiveness of your advertising is to look at how much your recycling center’s sales increased as a result of your advertising. This method is called “indirect response” marketing.

Direct response marketing is more important than indirect response marketing. Indirect response marketing is useful, but not as important as direct response marketing. Direct response marketing is necessary because it helps you attract new customers. Indirect response marketing is crucial because it keeps the customers you have.

Both direct response and indirect response marketing are vital, but direct response marketing is more important. Direct response marketing is necessary because it helps you attract new customers. Your customers will stay loyal to you if you use indirect response marketing.

7. Look At Environmental And Government Incentives

Before you seek out loans for your business, know the incentives that are offered in your region. Many governments and NGOs offer concessional loans for such business initiatives. That can help make it easier to start up such a business.

Here are a few of the more common incentives:

  • Low-Interest Rates

Many loans offer low-interest rates, which can help to reduce the cost of borrowing.

  • Tax Breaks

Many governments offer tax breaks for businesses that invest in new equipment or in making significant changes to their operations.

  • Assistance with Paperwork

Governments often assist with the paperwork required to get a loan, such as a business plan or financial statements.

  • Grant Money

Many governments offer to grant money to businesses that meet necessary criteria, such as creating new jobs or increasing company revenue.

8. Gain Funding For Your Business

Once your business plan is drawn up, it is time to approach financial institutions or government agencies for financial assistance. You should experience lawyers or managerial consultants to help you in this phase. The likely cost breaks up or fund requirements are the following:

  • The recycling process can be very complex, and it is necessary to have a processing facility that can handle the volume and type of recycling that is required.
  • One such processing facility can cost between $1500 and $2000 per month, with drop-offs costing between $1000 and $2000 per unit. Additional costs of employees at $10 per hour, plus costs for equipment, can amount to a weekly budget of between $2000 and $5000.
  • Hence, on average running such a business would cost around $20,000 to $30,000 per month. Many governments provide grants to such businesses. The free money helps to offset loans to a considerable extent.

9. Register Your Business

There are many benefits to registering your business as an LLC. An LLC is a popular form of business because it offers many tax advantages. For example, an LLC can operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, depending on the structure of the LLC. Additionally, an LLC can offer its owners protection from personal liability. Finally, LLCs can offer a degree of anonymity for their owners.

LLCs come with a few costs, however. The most important of these costs is the LLC setup fee. This fee is generally $500 but can vary quite a bit depending on the state in which you are registering your business. Additionally, small business insurance costs $2000 per year. This insurance protects your business against many risks, including employee theft, natural disaster, and legal action.

Another necessary cost associated with registering an LLC is the permit and license fees. These fees vary from state to state but typically range from $700 to $1000. Finally, trademark registration costs $700, and lawyer fees can cost $15000 or more. However, these costs are generally worth it, as they can protect your business from the competition and help you avoid legal disputes.

Overall, registering your business as an LLC is a good way to protect your investment and gain some necessary tax advantages. Make sure to consult with a lawyer before registering your business, as the costs associated with doing so can be high.

10. Set Up Your Recycling Facility And Equipment

Once your loans are approved and your business registered, take action. It would be wise to choose the facility before and after you obtain your funds, and get into a leasing or rental agreement with the same. The same goes for your equipment infrastructure. The usual types of equipment required are the following:

  • Baler
  • Shredders
  • Crushers
  • Forklifts
  • Containers 
  • Scales

11. Plan The Prices You Will Charge

It would depend on what materials you recycle. For instance, if you are in the business of recycling paper then you would be paying per ton, averaging around $50. Recycling businesses can see a turnover of around $100,000 yearly, and with good reason. Not only do they provide a vital service to the environment, but they also offer a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes.


There are many ways to start a recycling business. The most important thing is to have a business plan and to be organized. You will also need to invest in the right equipment, keep records of your sales and expenses and be prepared to deal with the public. If you follow the 11 steps in this article, you will be on your way to starting a successful recycling business.