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50 Profitable Recycling Business ideas & Opportunities 2016

Do you want to turn waste to wealth (paper, plastic, oil, scrap, tire)? If YES, here are 50 most profitable recycling business ideas & opportunities for 2016 that you can start with low investment.

Recycling is one of the businesses of the future that you must invest in now if you have the means. As the green awareness trend and eco-consciousness increases, the demand for recycled products or items will also increase. This opens an avenue for smart entrepreneurs to capitalize upon, make a living and amass wealth.

What Does It Take to Start a Recycling Business Successfully?

Now for those who are yet to understand the concept of recycling and potentials, recycling is simply the process of making of new products from products that has been used and disposed as waste.

As a green entrepreneur, your duty here is to get these assumed useless waste products, recycle it into useful products and resell it to the same people who disposed it. Now if only you can catch the vision behind the concept of recycling, you will benefit immensely from a trend that is still in its beginner’s phase.

Another interesting potential of this recycling business is that most people still see it as a business about collecting soda cans, bottles, and old paper. While in reality, recycling businesses focuses on other items and materials, such as the gold found in cell phones and computers, or re-selling household goods.

Now setting up a recycling business requires a good knowledge of where to site your company, how to collect your trash goods and where to market or sell them, along with strong entrepreneurial skills and perseverance.

50 Recycling Business Ideas to Start With Low Investment in 2016

  1. Recycling of Aluminum Cans

You can choose to invest in the recycling of aluminum cans. Even if you don’t have the needed capital to go into it full scale, you can still make money by collecting the cans for big recycling firms. This idea is good for those people that are familiar with their neighbourhood.

All you need to do is post a notice in the community bulletin board or send out business cards containing the rationale of the business and contact information and the promise of free pick up of your neighbour’s aluminum cans. This is even a profitable aspect of waste management.

  1. Recycling of Scrap Gold

Often tagged as mining gold above ground, the process of recycling scraps gold entails re-melting, refining and remaking new pieces. This process costs less than mining and in fact does not diminish or degrade the purity of the gold.

  1. Recyclable Waste Collection Centre

If you don’t have the capital to set up a recycling plant, you can still start a profitable recycling business by setting up your own recycling centre; where people can drop off their recyclable items like cans, bottles and paper. The establishment in turn will deliver these materials to bigger recycling centres or companies in exchange for cash.

  1. Recycling of Construction Waste

The process of construction waste recycling entails collecting the different scraps and leftover materials from construction sites like hardwood, waste metals, electrical materials, etc and reselling them.

  1. Garbage Recycling

While recycling garbage from homes is lucrative, so is recycling garbage from commercial businesses. All you need to do is provide a collection and pick up service and be at these corporate establishments at a designated time on a regular basis. Provide bins so to easily gauge costing and reselling.

  1. Cartridge Recycling

Establishing a cartridge recycling business is another profitable aspect of recycling. You can engage in inkjet and toner refilling operation and offer services to the corporate world.

  1. Electronic Waste Recycling

Electronic Waste recycling is another great recycling business idea. This business entails the buying of scrap electronic peripherals and electronic devices and selling them to recyclers. Gadgets that can be recycled or refurbished include all electronic gadgets, laptops, computers, mobile phones, etc.

  1. Cooking Oil Filtration and Recycling

Cooking oil filtration and recycling will benefit restaurants and hotels, by saving them money. You can start this business and offer to them this service. Your task in this case entails filtering out waste material from used oil making it reusable.

  1. Home items Recycling

To reuse and creatively remake whatever garbage or unused stuff that is in the backyard or in the garage is a lucrative recycling business. You can reconstruct old upholstery or old furniture and sell. You can also create work of arts from junk items and sell.

  1. Tire recycling

Tire recycling is not a new business it first accelerated during the Second World War when there were mass shortages of available rubber. Citizens were encouraged to turn in their used and unneeded tires to help in the war effort. After the war tires became cheap and plentiful. The average citizen didn’t think twice about throwing used tires in the trash. This now has turned into a major problem.

There are literally piles of tires illegally dumped all over this country; also millions of ton of recyclable material is dumped into our clogged landfills every year. There is a great opportunity to do the right thing and also make good money doing it. Car and light truck tires are made from rubber compounds, steel wire, and synthetic and natural fibres. All of these materials are recyclable.

11. Copper recycling

Copper and copper alloy such as Brass and bronze, have one of the highest cost per pound rates of non precious metals. Good copper and copper alloy sources include: copper pipe, plumbing fixtures, bronze bearings, copper wire, transformers, electric motors, copper trim, buss bars, light ballasts, cooking pots, door knobs, circuit boards, etc. The great thing about copper and copper alloys is you don’t need very much to be able to make a lot of money in this field. Currently at the writing of this article copper is at $3.15 per pound.

  1. Steel recycling

Steel is the number one recycled metal on earth. Almost every product made in the world contains some steel. There are many different grades and alloys all are worth different amounts. Cast iron, stainless steel, sheet metal, construction steel, etc. This is one business that you have to take seriously if you want to make good money.

  1. Computer recycling

Computers are another great market to get into not just from a raw materials standpoint, but many scrap computers still contain reusable parts such as power supplies, cd drives, processors, hard disks etc. That can be easily resold on Online Auction sites for a profit. Also there are companies that will purchase the mother boards in bulk, in order to process the Gold, platinum, and copper from them.

This also holds true for most consumer electronics. The great thing about this is most of the work can be done efficiently with simple hand tools. A good dual shaft shredder and magnetic separator can make this even more efficient and profitable.

  1. Plastic recycling

Most plastic containers have a triangle with a number and abbreviation to tell you what grade of plastic they are made from. This makes separation for recycling easier. Post consumer plastics if cleaned and shredded and in some cases baled are worth from $50 – $480 per ton. HDPE is one of the most sought after it’s used in most of the consumer products we buy from disposable oil containers to car bumpers. With the current oil crunch the value of this material is only going to increase.

  1. Battery recycling

There are many places that will pay for lead acid batteries. These are either sold per battery or by the pound, and some places pay up to $7.00 each for used car batteries. Also another great way to get paid for lead acid batteries is to recondition them. Most of the time when car, motorcycle, marine etc batteries die, it is because of sulfation.

  1. Junk car recycling

Scrap cars and trucks are an absolute treasure trove of resalable goods. Junk car business is making a major landmark in the recycling business because of the international legislation that caters for the recycling of waste to help improve the state of the environment.

  1. Wood recycling

Recyclable wood can come from numerous sources like construction waste, industrial waste, pallets, junk furniture, tree trimming, etc. More common woods are Oak, Cedar, Maple, Cherry, etc. These woods are ideal for manufacturing furniture and pallets. Pallet recycling is big business for many companies. Almost every truck freighted item in this country is shipped on a pallet; therefore the market for used pallets and pallet disposal is huge.

  1. Yard waste

Yard waste can be a variety of organic materials. Tree trimming waste, grass clippings, garden organic waste, scrap fencing, field stone. If you have large natural stones on your property some landscapers will actually pay for this material to be used in retaining walls and landscaping. Branches and waste wood can be recycled. Scrap chain link and metal fencing can be recycled for steel.

Grass clippings and organic garden waste are all materials that can be easily composted for fertilizer. This may not be very profitable unless you have a source that generates a lot of this material, and you have to have sufficient space to do it. There is a big movement in this country to use organic fertilizers and someone with initiative could make a lot of money selling natural compost.

  1. Packaging materials recycling

Packaging materials might not seem like a business opportunity. But keep this in mind almost every single product in the world that is shipped, is packaged to prevent damage in some way or form. With the growing number of people shipping products on the internet the demand for packaging material has never been higher.

Some examples of packaging material include wrapping foam, packing peanuts, cardboard boxes, gayords, pallets, and plastic bags. Packing peanuts are a big one they are probable the most discarded and yet are somewhat expensive to purchase. One yard bag of packing peanuts retails for around $75.00.

  1. Electric wire recycling

There are millions feet of scrap wire thrown into landfills every year by contractors, and auto recyclers. This material can be tedious to separate and many companies that scrap this material don’t have time to recycle it. The equipment required to recycle electrical wire on a small to large scale varies greatly. Some of the most cost effective machines for striping wire consist of motorized rollers and a blade to slice thru the insulation.

  1. Book binding and repairs

Working right from home you can bind books in small quantities and repair antique books. Bookbinding equipment is very inexpensive to purchase and there are even construction plans available that will enable you to build your own bookbinding equipment. Marketing the service can be as easy as establishing alliances with second hand book retailers and book collector clubs.

Likewise the ability to bind and repair books can also pay off in terms of finding valuable collectors books yourself, carrying out any needed repairs, and selling the books for a profit. You’ll find steady work by establishing a working relationship with local second hand book retailers and book collector clubs.

  1. Cloth diapers service

Lots of parents would like an alternative to the environmentally questionable disposable diaper, but don’t have the time or inclination to deal with cloth diapers. You can be the solution to their problem. A baby can go through as many as 4,000 diapers before being fully toilet-trained, and this fact of life creates an outstanding business opportunity. Depending on your start-up budget, there are two methods of pursuing this venture. In the first, you offer complete service–you supply, deliver, pick up and clean the cloth diapers.

  1. Disposal bin service

The home renovation and construction industry creates an enormous amount of waste each year that has to be disposed of into landfill sites or taken to recycling facilities for a renewed lease on life. There are a few different approaches that you can take in terms of starting and operating a disposal bin service.

The first and more traditional approach is to own and operate your own roll-off or winch truck that is used in the transportation, delivery, and pickup of the disposal bins. The second option is to own only the disposal bins and subcontract the delivery and pickup service to a trucking firm.

  1. Energy management consultant

Corporations and homeowners combined spend billions of dollars annually on energy to light, heat and air-condition their homes and buildings. Imagine how much healthier the environment would be, as well how much money each of us could save every year, if we could all reduce our energy consumption by a mere 10 percent?

The aforementioned is the focus of this incredible business opportunity. Working as an energy management consultant from a home based office you can teach homeowners and business owners practical and useful energy management tips about reducing consumption and use recycled pure energy. Successfully activating this business will require a great deal of research, planning and perhaps training.

  1. Furniture upholstery service

In spite of the fact that we live in a disposable society, furniture upholstery and recovering is not a dying art. Actually, the opposite is true, especially for the upholstery service that specializes in recovering antique furniture. The largest drawback for starting an upholstery service is experience. Furniture upholstery isn’t an easy trade to learn and this business opportunity is best left tackled by an experienced upholsterer or seamstress.

An upholstery service can be operated from a home based workshop or as a joint venture with an established business such as an antiques repair and refinishing service. Providing automotive, RV and boat upholstery services can generate additional income for a furniture upholstery business. Income potential is $40 per hour or more.

  1. Junkyard furniture creations

If you’re looking for a unique home based business that has minimal competition and potential to generate a six-figure income, then look no further. Starting a business that manufactures and sells junkyard furniture is a very interesting venture. The key to its success is to create funky, yet functional furniture from discarded items typically found at a wrecking yard or junkyard. The most popular junkyard furniture items are generally couches and chairs that have been partially assembled from antique auto parts, such as a couch fashioned out of a ’57 Chevy front end.

  1. Junkyard sculptures

There are two ways to make money in a junkyard sculpture business. The first, create and sell art sculptures made from junkyard items and secondly, supply art schools and artists with interesting junkyard items. In both instances a little bit of innovation can make you a lot of money. There are great deals of business opportunities available or that can be created. Sometimes, it just requires us to open our minds to imaginative ideas

  1. Litter cans

Purchasing 200 commercial-grade litter cans and securing high-traffic indoor and outdoor locations for the litter cans to be installed can potentially generate advertising revenues of $6,000 per month. For this very unique advertising business to succeed, the following two aspects must be considered.

First, secure highly visible locations to install the litter cans such as in front of retail stores, inside malls, and inside community and recreation centres. Additionally, the property or business owners must agree to maintain the litter cans in exchange for a portion of the advertising revenues generated. Next, aggressively market the advertising service to local companies who want to participate in a highly effective advertising campaign that costs only $30 per month.

  1. Online recycled renovation products

Here is a unique business start-up for the savvy webmaster. Thousands of homes are demolished annually in the United States to make way for new houses and buildings. Many of these same homes have items like hardwood flooring, bathroom fixtures, and doors and windows that are of value and can be recycled. You can profit by developing a Web site where these valuable items can be listed for sale. The site should be indexed by product with a section for hardwood flooring, a section for windows, etc.

  1. Pawnbroker

Pawnbrokers sometimes get a bad rap, and unfortunately it only takes a few bad apples dealing in stolen merchandise to give the industry a bad name for all operators of pawnshops. However, like any business venture, eventually the bad business operators will disappear and the good operators will flourish. Starting a pawnshop business is a good choice as a business start-up for a few reasons, such as no special business skill requirements, relatively low initial investment, and excellent profit potential.

  1. Scrap metals recycling

There are a great number of options open to the creative entrepreneur who is considering starting a recycling business focusing on scrap metals. You can specialize and operate a scrap metal depot that sells various reclaimed metals to metal recycling companies. Or, specialize in one particular type of scrap metal collection and recycling. Owning a scrap metal recycling business is like having your company traded publicly the day it opens for business.

Metals are commodities and the price fluctuates on a supply and demand basis, often based on forecasts for the supply and demand for certain types of metals a year or more in advance. Overall, this is a good choice for a recycling business start-up, and the investment can vary from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  1. Used children clothing

All parents want the best clothes for their children, but unfortunately, financial budgets don’t always allow for the purchase of children’s designer clothing. Not to mention the fact that kids can grow out of their clothes as quick as you buy them. The solution to these problems is to open a second hand clothing store or flea market booth featuring apparent for children.

In both cases, you can purchase good quality second hand children’s clothing at bargain basement prices–from parents whose children have outgrown them and want to trade them in for credit at your store–and then resell the clothes for a profit. Accepting consignment clothing is another way to reduce business start up costs. You can also accept used toys and books to add additional merchandise to your offerings.

  1. Recycling of sawdust

Sawdust is a by-product of cutting, grinding, drilling, sanding of wood. The process entails recycling sawdust that can be use for particleboard, Fill wood holes and defects, serving as a mulch, as an alternative to clay cat litter, or as a fuel. If you want to make good money in the recycling business then you have to look at starting a sawdust recycling business.

  1. Recycling of rubber

These will be of benefit to those who want to create cups, plates, disposable spoons etc. you can begin the business by liaising with household and people who sell these rubber. There is a huge possibility of making lots of profit in this business.

  1. Recycling Glass

Glass is a widely recycled material and one of the few that can be recycled infinitely without losing its qualities. Glass is a wonderful resource for recycling since it can be transformed in various ways. The basic rule to remember when working with glass, is to separate it by colour. When it has different colours is possible to be chemically incompatible. For a start you can just collect, clean and resell glass bottles or jars to small producers or individuals. For a bigger profit you can choose to make glass aggregates, which supposes to invest in machines that produce glass aggregates.

  1. Used oil recycling

Used cooking oil can be refined into bio diesel which can be used to fuel converted diesel engines. This type of oil can be recovered from different businesses and industries that use it for cooking. The oil can be also filtered and resold to restaurants and hotels. Besides the cooking oil, other types of oil and other petroleum-based products can be recycled or re-refined. For example you can collect motor oils, brake fluids, refrigeration oils, electrical oils, emulsions and so on, and resell it to small business as car repair.

  1. Composting

Organic fertilizers are also in high demand by people who have already embraced the green revolution. If you don’t mind the dirt, you can start making your own organic fertilizer for sale. Composting involves collecting organic waste and making them useful to man and the environment.

  1. Cardboard recycling

Cardboard recycling business is all about collecting used cardboards and then recycling it so that it can be reused for the production of cardboards or any other related materials like; books, paper folders, et al. It is a fact that cardboard recycling business is indeed a profitable business, and it requires a moderate start up capital to establish it plus the fact that you stand the chance of enjoying tax rebate in most countries of the world.

  1. Paper recycling

Starting a paper recycling business involves you having a good knowledge of where to collect the waste paper, technical and mechanical know-how on how to operate the machines used for the process and where to sell your finished goods. Everyone uses paper one way or the other but the good news is that paper could be made into other useful materials like tissue paper.

  1. Collection and sales of factory wastes

This is another very lucrative business in the waste management and recycling industry. It involves collection of waste materials from factories and disposing them on their behalf. You could serve as many factories as possible or sign a contract with just one company.

  1. Polythene material recycling

This is another item you would always find on the street. Just take a walk down your street and count how many polythene wastes you would find. Even the cleanest of areas still somehow have them. Polythene just like rubber could be melted and reused.

  1. Medical Waste recycling

Hospitals and clinics need people to help them dispose wastes like human parts, blood, needles and syringe etc in a safe manner. This business may sound really gross but it would interest you to know that a lot of people are making money from it. Most of the medical wastes like needle and syringes can be recycled.

  1. E-waste recycling

With the onset of globalization and modernization, it is inevitable that huge amounts of garbage will be thrown away from homes every day. Because of this fact, it is important that the percentage of garbage that will be managed and recycled would somehow be equal to those which cannot.

  1. Recycling waste water

Waste water can be given the look of being edible through recycling. This can be done with the help of the machines that are made for the recycling the water. There has been a lot of benefit due to this especially for the places where there is scarcity of water. It is a boon in disguise!

  1. Recycling of Electronic waste

You could also start a business of collecting electronic wastes like bad televisions, radios, old computers, discarded cell phones etc. These items can either be sold to manufacturers for refurbishing and resold or to spare part dealers who would remove some of the useful parts and sell them.

  1. Recycling plant

A recycling plant might be a capital intensive but very profitable business. It involves setting up a place where garbage collectors can come and sell the recyclable materials they collect in bulk and you in turn would recycle them and sell to people who need them.

  1. Creative recycling

Creative recycling is a true recycling or even better an up cycling. Up cycling describes a process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. Creative recycling or up cycling reduces the consumption of new raw materials and in doing so it reduces, energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions. And of course it helps to keep things away from landfills.

  1. Recycle Wine Corks for Cash

Try making some extra cash by selling your wine bottles and wine corks on EBay. Empty wine bottles go for as much as $5 each, with the average selling price around 50 cents. Wine corks can also be sold to crafters on EBay for around 10 cents each.

  1. Christmas tree recycling

Most trees are turned into wood chips or compost. Nonorganic materials aren’t good for these purposes and some can ruin a chipping machine. To prep your tree for recycling, remove all lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments, nails, stands and other materials that are not part of the original tree.

  1. Leasing out trucks to recycling businesses

Not everyone can afford to buy vehicles for their recycling businesses. You can make it your duty to start a haulage business that provides vehicles for recycling businesses. One of the very essence of this kind of business is to help in recycling, as well as help aid the movement of people in the recycling industry.

In conclusion, I want you to understand that there’s no end to the possibilities that exist in the recycling business; provided the item or product is in constant demand and is recyclable. Your job here is to find out what recyclable idea is feasible and get to work. With hard work and commitment, success will be yours.

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