Turning Trash into Cash

In these tough economic times, recycling offers an opportunity to make a contribution to saving the planet’s resources and improving your own bottom line at the same time.

Recycling centers are a fairly simple business to start, and they can be extremely profitable and environmentally friendly, too. 


Market Research

Irrespective of the business you intend to start, it is always best to start by doing some research on your intended business before you invest any of your hard-earned cash into the project. Investigate other recycling businesses. See if there is a gap in the marketplace. Speak to your potential future customers to find out what they would like or how you can improve things if there is competition. Find out what types of materials are being recycled and find out the current recycling processes in your neighborhood.

Proper market research will allow you to spot the opportunities in the market and will give you a good idea of demand for your services.


Choosing the Right Space

Once you have completed your market research, then it is time to start putting your business plans into action. Start by searching for the right location for your recycling center. You need to strike a balance between costs, location, and convenience. 

Remember to factor in transportation costs in your location. A location closer to your clients may be more expensive, but locations further away will require higher transport costs in the long run.

You also need to select a location that has sufficient space to store the recyclables that you will be collecting. Make sure zoning and local laws allow for the type of business you want to operate.


Obtain the Right Permits

 Once you have an idea of your potential locations, it is time to approach your local council or the state to obtain the permits you will need to run your business. Legal processes can be complicated, and it can be helpful to approach a local legal firm to help you through the process of applying for the necessary permits for your area.


Look for Funding

Very few individuals have all of the necessary capital to invest in a brand new business. Capital is, however, vital for any new startup.  Make sure you budget for your marketing, sales, and your setup costs.  Since recycling is environmentally friendly, and it may help to support the local government, government funding may be available to you to help fund some of the equipment and costs you may have.


Investing in Your Equipment

Once you have paid your permit and license fees, it is time to invest in the equipment you will need to operate your business. 

Your market research will provide you with an idea of the items you should be recycling and, therefore, what equipment you might need to support your business. Equipment forms the backbone of every good business. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of buying second-hand versus new equipment. Repair costs and maintenance costs on secondhand equipment can quickly mount up and affect your profitability. Consider these costs when selecting your equipment.


Select the Right Containers

Once you have an idea of your location and startup costs, it is time to consider what kinds of containers you will need for collection and storage purposes. 

Second hand containers support your company’s goal of recycling, and they offer you immense cost savings. Since the material you are collecting is going to be recycled, you don’t really need to worry about the history of the containers.

We know all too well that when you buy new containers, many old ones (that are still usable and in good shape) end up collecting dust in the warehouse or sitting in a landfill. But, when you buy used bulk containers, you are able to cut down on waste, save money and find the perfect container for your needs. 

Second hand containers come in all shapes and sizes, and they can offer huge cost savings. You need to decide what types of containers will suit your business best. Make sure the containers you select are practical. Ensure that clients can easily access the containers at your recycling drop-off points. Make sure the containers have lids if you need to keep your contents dry. You also need to consider the material used to create the container to ensure the container meets your requirements; for example, plastic or metal containers are best if they will be left outside, rather than wood or composite materials that may break down due to weather.


Advertising and Marketing

When you are ready, then you need to begin marketing your new business. Remember to contact your local newspapers and blogs. Bloggers and newspapers are always looking for stories that affect the community, and that can help to support the community.

Make sure you reach out to potential clients, and that you make it as simple as possible to recycle in your community.