Starting a waste recycling business can be a lucrative and environmentally friendly endeavor.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own waste recycling business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Waste Recycling Business
1. Choose Your Type of Waste Recycling Business
The first step in launching a waste recycling business is to identify the type of waste recycling business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Product Recycling: This type of business collects recyclable materials from businesses and consumers and sells them to companies that turn them into new products.
- Material Recovery Facility (MRF): This type of waste recycling business sorts and processes recyclables, like paper, glass, and plastic, for sale to manufacturers.
- Construction and Demolition (C&D) Recycling: This type of business recycles materials from construction and demolition sites, such as wood, concrete, and metal.
- Waste-to-Energy (WTE): This type of business turns waste into energy through processes like incineration or gasification.
2. Name Your Waste Recycling Business
Give your waste recycling business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your waste recycling business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your waste recycling business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so it will attract customers.
3. Determine Your Waste Recycling Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a waste recycling business including:
- Pick up and drop off: With this type of model, customers bring their recyclables to your facility to be recycled.
- Door-to-door service: Customers sign up for a recurring pick-up service and you collect their recyclables from their home or office.
- Pay-as-you-throw: Customers are charged based on the amount of waste they generate.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
Read more about choosing the right business model for your waste recycling business.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your waste recycling business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your waste recycling business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common waste recycling business structures.
5. Write a Waste Recycling Business Plan
All waste recycling business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your waste recycling business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What services do you offer?
- What types of waste do you recycle?
- Where do you operate?
- How much does it cost to recycle waste?
- Do I need to separate recyclable materials before bringing them to your facility?
- Can I bring hazardous waste to your recycling center?
Read our article about how to write a waste recycling business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your waste recycling business.
For example, if you are recycling hazardous materials, you may need to obtain a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You will also need to get a business license from your city or county.
You must also register your waste recycling business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper waste recycling business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your waste recycling business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your waste recycling business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your waste recycling business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a waste recycling business to help you determine if funding is needed.
Read our article about how to fund your waste recycling business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your waste recycling business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in software that helps you manage your inventory and recycling processes. This type of software can help streamline your operations, and make it easier to track your progress and performance.
For example, if you are recycling e-waste, there is software available that can help you manage your inventory of electronic devices, as well as track where recycled materials end up.
9. Market Your Waste Recycling Business to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the waste recycling industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Waste recycling businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
Develop a list of potential customers. This can be done by researching the businesses in your area that generate waste.
Create marketing materials. Create brochures and other collateral that explain what services you offer and how they benefit potential customers.
Attend trade shows and events. Attend industry-related trade shows so you can network with other business owners and people who work in the waste management industry.
Read our article about how to market your waste recycling business for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your waste recycling business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your waste recycling business to learn more.
Starting a Waste Recycling Business FAQs
There are many reasons to start a waste recycling business. Some of the benefits include:
You can make a difference. Recycling businesses help reduce pollution and conserve resources.
It’s a growing industry. The global waste management market is expected to grow from $302.1 billion in 2016 to $429.5 billion by 2025.
You can be your own boss. As a waste recycling business owner, you’ll have the freedom to set your own hours and work from home if you want.
To start a successful waste recycling business, you need:
The right attitude: You need to be passionate about making a difference and be willing to work hard to make your business a success.
The right technology: You need to have the right technology in place to help you manage your operations efficiently.
The right marketing strategy: You need to promote your services to potential customers so they know you exist and understand the benefits of using your services.
To start a waste recycling business from home, you'll need to establish a home office and a work location for the collection and storage of recycled waste. You'll also need to have the right technology in place to help you manage your business. And you'll need to create a marketing strategy to promote your services to potential customers.
If you want to start a waste recycling business online, you need to create a website that provides information about your services and how they benefit the customer. You should also promote your website through social media channels and consider networking with other people in the industry. It’s also important to have a solid marketing and business plan in place.
Here are some tips to help you start a successful waste recycling business:
Find a niche: There are many different types of recycling businesses, so it’s important to find a niche that you’re passionate about.
Research the industry: It’s important to understand the waste management industry and know your potential customers.
Create a business plan: A business plan will help you map out your goals and ensure your business is viable.
A simple checklist to use when starting a waste recycling business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Waste Recycling Firm: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Waste Recycling Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Waste Recycling Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Waste Recycling Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Waste Recycling Business to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Starting a waste recycling business can be a great way to make a difference in your community and help the environment. It’s important to research the market and plan carefully before starting out, but with the right tools and resources you can be on your way to success. Follow these tips to get started and continue marketing your business.