Everywhere in the world, recycling businesses have come to stay and the United Kingdom is not left out. As a matter of fact, recycling started in the United Kingdom in the early years of the 20th century and the acceptance of the recycling industry grew after 1939 when World War Two resulted in food rationing and a shortage of everyday use products. But in the United Kingdom recycling gain nationwide prominence in the 1960s.

Interestingly, the European Union expects the United Kingdom to meet a target of recycling a minimum of 50 percent (by weight) of its household waste by 2020. England, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have household recycling rates between 44 to 46 percent. In 2016, the UK as a whole reported a household recycling rate of 44.6 percent.

Statistics shows that the recycling rate for WfH decreased in all UK countries except Northern Ireland in 2018. The recycling rate for England was 44.7 percent, compared with 47.7 percent in Northern Ireland, 42.8 percent in Scotland, and 54.1 percent in Wales.

The truth is that the market is still pretty much open for new investors to come in. Although there are competitions at various levels in the industry, but if you are able to come up with a good business strategy, then you are sure of getting your own fair share of the available market in the industry. Here are some of the recycling business opportunities that exist in the United Kingdom.

What Recycling Business Opportunities Exist in the UK?

  1. Waste Paper Recycling Business

It is a fact that waste paper can be recycled to generate other paper based products and going by the trend as it concerns going green, the United Kingdoms’ government is seriously giving support to players in the recycling industry and as a water paper recycling business, you stand the chance of benefiting from this legislature.

It is a business that is highly profitable because there is hardly any country or city that you won’t find printing presses, offices, schools and other facilities that generate paper as waste products. So, if you have decided to start a waste paper recycling business in the United Kingdom, then you should make sure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and market survey.

  1. Hair Recycling

Hair recycling is yet another recycling business opportunity that exists in the United Kingdom. It is a business that is highly profitable because there is hardly any country or city that you won’t find barbing saloons or hair care facilities that generate hair as waste products.

Before now, hair as waste products tends to be a menace in the society causing harm to both plant and animal because of its inability to decompose. It is now profitable to recycle hair into useful products hence opening up business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Recycled hair can be used to produce products such as wigs, test tresses, weaves, and mannequin heads all made of human hair, components of fertilizer (human hair combined with compost is a good fertilizer for plants), the hair is weaved into mats that help protect the plant’s roots from weather and insects, clothes (weaved hair into fabric and clothes), craft a work of art, soy sauce (since human hair is rich in protein, they treat it, remove the amino acids, and pass it off as soybean oil), nesting material and crafting rope et al.

  1. Medical Waste Recycling

Medical waste is not like the normal waste that can be handled by both trained and untrained cleaners; it requires some level of professionalism and safety measures to successfully run a medical waste disposal company. Medical waste comprises of wastes generated in the hospitals, laboratories, dental clinics, optic clinics and diagnostic centers et al and this waste can be harmful to humans if not properly disposed of and recycled.

You will quite agree that handling wastes like used disposable hand gloves, face masks, blood soaked cotton wool, needles, and syringes, etc. needs care because of the potential danger that it can cost to both humans and the environment.

  1. Tires and Rubber Waste Recycling Business

In it is on record that the United Kingdom generates hundreds of millions from the recycling of used/condemned tires every year, constituting the country’s largest source of rubber waste. Used/condemned tires pose a threat to our environment and public health.

The tire and rubber waste recycling industry collect, separate, sort, and process used and condemned tires. All you need to launch this business is the machines and equipment needed and how to operate them, a good knowledge of where to collect used tires and where to sell the raw materials generated from the recycling process, the legislation guiding the industry as well as strong entrepreneurial skills and determination.

  1. Scrap Metal Recycling Business

The scrap metal recycling business is yet another recycling business opportunity that exists in the United Kingdom. This is one of the largest lines of business in the recycling industry. Establishments in the scrap metal recycling industry are involved in the collection, processing, and recycling of condemned ferrous metals, such as iron and steel, and nonferrous metals, such as aluminum, copper and nickel.

  1. e-Waste Recycling Business

E-waste which is also known as electronic waste is basically electronic products that are faulty, condemned, or have become obsolete and can no longer be used. E – Waste includes used computers, televisions, radios, tablets, mobile phones, and several other used electronic products. Such materials are better reused when they are recycled as against allowing them to be buried under the earth.

Players in the e – Waste Recycling industry collect, separate, sort, and process electronic waste materials. In the United Kingdom, the e – Waste Recycling industry has come to stay and the good part of it is that it enjoys the support of environmentalists and the government since it is a means to preserve the earth from degradation, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental pollution.

  1. Food Waste Recycling Business

Another recycling business opportunity that exists in the United Kingdom is food waste recycling. It is a fact that food waste can be reused by animal farmers or recycled to generate fertilizer or other products and going by the trend as it concerns going green, the United Kingdom’s government is seriously giving support to players in the waste collection and recycling industry and as a food waste collection business, you stand the chance of benefiting from this legislature.

So, if you have decided to start a food waste collection and recycling company, then you should make sure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and also a market survey.

  1. Salvage Yard Business

Salvage yard business is yet another recycling business opportunity that exists in the United Kingdom. The truth is that people would prefer to sell their grounded automobiles in salvage yards than get fined for abandoning their grounded cars in parking lots.

Salvage yards purchase unwanted, used, wrecked or junk vehicles, strip them of all usable parts and components, which are then refurbished, sold, or recycled. The cars provide much more value to the yard than what they originally paid, because they can sell all of the parts individually, meaning they can buy the car for a higher price than metal scrap yards.

Despite the fact that establishing a salvage yard business requires huge startup capital and rigorous processes, but it is a fact that it is indeed a profitable venture. The market for used car parts and recycled scrap metal is large and can accommodate loads of investors.

  1. Furniture Upcycling Business

Upcycling is a form of recycling that focuses on transforming an unwanted item or material into a quality, visually improved, and valued product. It can be an old piece of furniture that you strip back and repaint which turns it into an individual furniture piece that would otherwise have gone to a landfill. Old and abandoned furniture can constitute a nuisance in our communities if they are not recycled and re used.

  1. Aluminum Can Recycling Business

Recycled aluminum cans save energy and the process of recycling is cheaper compared to starting from the scratch. It is a fact that aluminum is a sustainable metal and it can be recycled over and over again to produce new products. Another good thing is that recycling aluminum can require about 5 percent of the energy used in the production of virgin aluminum from the ore.

The essence of recycling aluminum cans is to make use of the already used cans for the production of new cans or other aluminum products and components. This process is simple and cost effective; the used aluminum cans are collected and sorted before they are melted. The melted aluminum cans can be used for the production of new cans, aluminum tools, products, or aluminum components.

  1. Cartridge Refilling Business

Cartridge refilling business is yet another recycling business opportunity that exists in the United Kingdom. The introduction of ink refill has brought respite to many businesses especially SMEs that can’t cope with the cost of continuous buying of ink cartridges. It’s been proven that the advent of the ink refill business has contributed to the preservation of our environment because we won’t have to deal with empty cartridges buried all around our land.

The good thing about this business is that the start-up cost is relatively low and the need for refillable is on the increase. There is hardly any corporate organization that doesn’t print documents, hence those in the Ink Cartridge Refill Business would continue to meet their needs, and keep smiling to the bank.

  1. Computer Recycling/Refurbishing Business

Interestingly, computers are made from a large number of different plastics, metals, and a great deal of other materials that can be recycled. If dumped into landfills, many of these materials are hazardous to the environment. Old computers that are still in good shape can be refurbished and sold and others can be sorted out in parts. A lot of the parts can be reused while others sold to computing factories that know how to best handle the parts.

  1. Glass Recycling Business

Another recycling opportunity that exists in the United Kingdom is the glass recycling business. Interestingly, glass is a relatively easy material to melt down and can easily be used to produce different kinds of products such as glass jars, drinking glass, glass fiber and vases, jewelry, art work, and figurines et al. After the collection of waste glass, the glass is broken up into smaller pieces, crushed sorted and cleaned. It can then be mixed with other constituents like sand, then melted and molded into the desired shape or product.

  1. Recovering Scrap Gold from Computer and Electronics

A ton of computer circuit board and micro chips contain as much as 800 times more gold than what is obtainable in one ton of gold. The good thing about this process is that it would only cost you about 20 US Dollars to recover 1 oz. the worth of scrap gold and the value of this can be as high as 300 US Dollars.

The good thing about this money-making venture is that you can get the raw materials i.e. the scrapped and condemned computers and electronics for free. If you visit the workshops where experts fix and repair faulty computers or electronics, you would always find some that are beyond repair and piled to be discarded.

Approach them and they will be willing to give it to you for free because they would see you as a helping hand for its disposal. However, some of them might want to sell it for a small amount. If you can’t do this yourself, you could want to pay people to go around town to help your source for scrapped computers and electronics.

  1. Mattress and Foam Recycling Business

Another recycling business opportunity that exists in the United Kingdom is mattress and foam recycling business. Old mattresses and foams that are sent to landfills or incinerators in the United Kingdom end up damaging the environment, and there is an increasing pressure to have them recycled.

Mattresses and forms are usually made from a large number of materials, including metal, fabric, and plastic. When sent to a recycling plant, they are separated from each other and recycled at a success rate of 95 percent.

  1. Plastic Recycling Business

When it comes to recycling business opportunities in the United Kingdom, plastic recycling is one of the most popular. The fact that there are loads of plastic wastes especially from pet potables and disposable cups and plates means that there is a vast market for the plastic recycling business. As a matter of fact, almost all types of plastic can be recycled. Most types of plastic – PET, PVC, and HDPE – can easily be recycled and re – used.

  1. Battery Charging and Recycling Business

The battery charging and recycling business is yet another recycling business opportunity that exists in the United Kingdom. The fact that batteries are composed of several chemicals that are both poisonous to the environment and human beings make it unaccepted to just dump them in the dumpsite. There is indeed a large market for old batteries because, all types of batteries can be recycled through a process that involves sorting, sieving, and creating new parts that can be used in batteries once again.

  1. Waste Oil Recycling Business

Waste oil is simply oil that has been contaminated with substances that may or may not be hazardous. Waste oil is considered a valuable resource. However, with the improvement in technology, these oils can be recycled and reused. Aside from helping the environment and promoting sustainability, it is a good way to earn a good income.

Although it is capital intensive and requires a lot of effort and patience, it is recession proof with a lively market aided by the growing awareness of environmental sustainability and waste management. The best way to earn in this business will be to provide customers with the finest and best quality of the product. You will also have to research your market thoroughly and create a detailed business plan to guide your business.

  1. Garbage Collection and Recycling Business

One of the recycling business opportunities available in the United Kingdom is the garbage collection and recycling business. The truth is that if you settle for this business, you are sure of making huge returns from your investment. This is so because garbage that can be classified as domestic waste is generated on a daily basis. Please note that we are not ruling out the fact that starting and operating a garbage collection and recycling company can be challenging, but the truth is that it can be rewarding at the same time.

  1. Sawdust Recycling Business

Lastly, another recycling business opportunity that exists in the United Kingdom is the sawdust recycling business. Sawdust is a by-product of cutting, grinding, drilling and sanding of wood. The process entails recycling sawdust that can be used for particleboard, Fill wood holes and defects, serving as a mulch, as an alternative to clay cat litter, or as a fuel. So, if you have decided to start a sawdust recycling business in the United Kingdom, then you should make sure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and also a market survey.

In Conclusion;

The recycling business is indeed a profitable industry in the United Kingdom and some environmental experts say that the world market for waste, from collection to recycling is worth around 300 billion Euros (US $410 billion).

The recycling business is therefore a growing business that has futuristic benefits; there are markets all across the United Kingdom that can be tapped into. Good enough, this industry is receiving robust support from the government simply because the recycling business is eco-friendly.

Ajaero Tony Martins