Recycling Business Plans

Did you know each of these plans was created in LivePlan? Learn More

Garden Products Recycling Business Plan

Hair Recycling Technologies makes garden supplements and soil amendments made from recycled hair.

Pallet Manufacturer Business Plan

Advanced Technology Pallets (ATP) has patented a new technology to use recycled automobile tires to manufacture new shipping pallets that far exceed the current industry strength and durability standards.

Plastics Recycling Business Plan

Replay Plastics will create a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) cleaning and refining plant located in the western United States.

Recycling Energy Conversion Business Plan

Good Earth Resources will build and operate facilities for energy generation from garbage processing and recycling.

Recycling Waste Materials Business Plan

Mid-Atlantic Recycling, LLC’s area of business will be to collect, recycle/compost, and market waste from municipality waste processing plants for use use as a consumer good.

A wide variety of materials from homes and businesses can be recycled and reprocessed. Scrap metal, building materials, furniture, electronic devices as well as conventional recyclables such as cardboard, glass, paper, and plastic are all fair game.

Now, just because these components are available for recycling doesn’t mean there’s a business around to make that process easy. Meaning there’s plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to create a niche, customer-centric recycling business. You just need a business plan to do it.

Luckily, you can start by downloading one of our Sample Recycling Business Plans. It’ll give you all the insights you need to develop a full plan for your own business.

If you’re looking to develop a more modern business plan, we recommend you try LivePlan . It contains the same templates and information you see here, but with additional guidance to help you develop the perfect plan.

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business plan for recycling

How to Create Recycling Business Plan Efficiently in 2023

Rakesh Patel

  • Last Updated: November 7, 2023

Recycling business plan

  • A well-crafted recycling business plan is crucial for financing, attracting investors, and driving the company’s growth and success.
  • Analyzing the market is essential to identifying key opportunities, differentiating from competitors, and establishing a sustainable customer base.
  • Developing a clear sales and marketing strategy with defined target markets help you build building brand awareness.

Starting a recycling business without a sound plan is like a sitting duck waiting to be shot. But thankfully, you are here so that you can get a guiding light for your new venture.

There is no doubt that the recycling services industry is on an upswing as it was valued at $57.69 billion in 2021 and is expected to touch the $90 billion mark by 2028 .

So first, let us show you what a recycling business plan is and how it will help you before moving on to its components.

Table of Content

  • What is Recycling Business Plan?

How to Develop a Recycling Business Plan?

What is recycling business plan .

Recycling business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the goals, objectives, strategies, and financial projections of your business. In simple words, think of it as your pole star that will show you a way out of the dark.

What is recycling business plan

Having such a well-developed plan can serve as a roadmap to guide your company’s operations and ensure better efficiency.

Why is it important to construct for your recycling business?

Whether you are starting a new business or already associated with the recycling industry, developing a robust business plan is essential for achieving organizational goals. Below is why you must construct one for your business. 

1. Identifying your target market

Identifying and analyzing your target market

Firstly, it enables you to identify and analyze your target market to help you understand the needs of your potential customers so that you can precisely serve what they want.

This precision will give you a competitive edge over your competitors who are scattering their efforts all over the place.

2. Managing your operations and resources

A business plan provides you with clarity about your operations, like how the daily waste collection process should take place and what tasks will be carried out by your team in a timely manner.

This will ensure that everything is properly aligned along with the right set of instructions for doing them. As a result, your recycling business can run smoothly.

3. Making your financial projections

A recycling business plan includes financial projections for at least the first year of operation. This projection gives you an idea about the funding you need for your business to take off. In short, it assists you to develop your financial plan as well. 

Once you have projections ready, it also provides you with a roadmap for achieving your revenue and profitability goals. In other words, you can say, it gets your numbers right.

4. Ensuring compliance with regulations

As a business owner, you cannot provide your services legally without complying with the rules set by the jurisdiction in your area. 

This is where it is crucial to develop a business plan that gives you an overview of the regulations and requirements for operating a recycling business in your service area. 

Doing it right before starting your recycling business ensures that you have complied with all applicable regulations. This means you can avoid hefty fines as well as mitigate potential risks.

5. Monitoring your performance

A recycling business plan gives you detailed insights by serving as a baseline for monitoring your performance and progress. This allows you to come up with your strategies and operations accordingly and make informed decisions to optimize your recycling process.

Creating a plan is one of the initial steps when it comes to starting a new recycling business. But, how will you develop it efficiently? For that, let’s discuss its components in the next section..

Business owners should include 10 main components while developing a business plan. Let us talk about them one by one. 

1. Industry overview

This section gives you a gist of the recycling industry and the market trends that are driving its growth. It typically includes information such as:

Size and growth of the industry

This section should provide an overview of the recycling industry’s size and growth trends. You can include statistics on the amount of waste generated, the percentage of waste that is currently being recycled, and projections for future growth.

Key market segments

Target market segments mean the sections of the whole industry which you are eying to target. For example – commercial or residential waste. Identify your target market segments and provide information on the size of each segment and its growth potential.

Competitive landscape

Analyze the major players (aka competitors) in your region, including their market share, strengths, and weaknesses. Also, identify any new entrants or potential competitors that may affect your business.

The legal and regulatory environment

Provide an overview of the legal and regulatory environment in which your business will operate. This gives you an idea of any permits or licenses required to operate a recycling business.

2. Executive summary

An executive summary is like a quick overview of your overall business plan. Here are some key elements to include:

  • Services: Give an overview of the services that your recycling business will offer and the types of waste you will recycle.
  • Target market: Describe the target market for your recycling business, including demographics, geography, and the size of the market.
  • Financial projections: Summarize your financial projections for the first few years of operation, including revenue, expenses, and profit margins.

3. Mission statement

The mission statement is all about your company’s primary focus and what it aims to achieve. A well-crafted mission statement can serve as a guiding principle for all the decisions made at your business.

Thus, it should communicate the essence of the company’s business, values, and culture, including recycling problems and solutions . However, when creating a mission statement, it is important that you keep it clear and concise.

4. Services and pricing

Following a statement, you can describe the recycling services that  you want to provide and how much you will charge for each of them. Hence, it should include a breakdown of the costs associated with any of your services as well as any pricing plans you offer. 

For example , you could charge a flat fee for a specific service such as curbside recycling pickup. Or, wherever possible, you can charge variably based on the volume of materials being recycled. 

5. Operational plan

It outlines the day-to-day activities that are essential to run your business. It gives details on: 

  • How your business will function?
  • How it will meet its goals and objectives?
  • What processes and precautions will everyone need to follow?

This will ensure that your daily efforts produce the maximum output toward your desired goals. As an additional benefit, it also saves recycling companies from inconsistencies that happen when a reliable plan is not set.

When deciding your operational plan, it is wise to add software to your process that will relieve you of much of your daily burden.  One such recycling waste collection route planning software is Upper,  which helps you plan routes for your waste collection team so that they can reach their destinations in a minimum time.

Get Optimized Routes for Waste Collection

Now, finding an optimized routes for waste pickups is a matter of seconds. That’s right, you can easily get them using the Upper Route Planner in less than a minute.


6. Job roles and responsibilities

This outlines the key positions within your business and the responsibilities associated with each of them. One of its purposes is to provide a clear understanding of the organizational structure of your company.

Here are some examples of job roles and responsibilities that can be included in a recycling business plan:

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO): The CEO is responsible for providing direction for the company while overseeing all aspects of its operations and ensuring that it achieves its objectives.
  • Operations Manager: The Operations Manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations, managing staff, coordinating with customers, and ensuring that all equipment and facilities are properly maintained.
  • Sales and Marketing Manager: A person who can develop marketing strategies to promote the services, identify new business opportunities, and build relationships with key customers.
  • Customer Service Representative: The person should be responsible for providing customers with information about the company’s services, answering questions, and resolving any issues or concerns that arise.
  • Recycling Technician: The Recycling Technician is responsible for sorting, processing, and preparing recyclable materials using recycling technologies for reuse.

7. Target market research

The process gives an in-depth analysis of the industry, competition, and potential customers. Thus, it is important to conduct thorough research using reliable sources and data. Let’s have a look at each of its components:

  • Industry analysis: It provides an overview of the recycling industry, including its size, growth, and recycling trends as well.
  • Competitor analysis: Here you identify your competition and their strengths or weaknesses. You can figure out information on their products, pricing strategies, marketing approaches, and market share.
  • Customer analysis: Its purpose is to show you the buying behavior, pain points, and preferences of your target audience.

Pro tip: The better you know your audience, the more effective will be your market research. So, find out the demographics, psychographics, and needs and preference of your target audience in detail.

8. Sales and marketing strategy

A strategy outlines the specific tactics and approaches that you will use to promote your services, generate leads, and convert those leads into paid customers. Here are some of its key elements:

  • Promotion channels: Here you identify specific channels for promoting your services and how you will use them. It includes digital marketing, social media, print media, events, and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Lead generation : This section describes the methods you will use to generate leads such as  cold calling, email marketing, SEO, and PPC advertising.
  • Sales/Conversion approach: It tells you how you will close more sales and generate more revenue. If you have any unique selling proposition (USP) that makes you stand apart, you can describe it in this part.

9. Financial projections

It is crucial step as it provides an overview of the expected financial performance of the company in the short term and long term. This also serves as a goal to achieve for your entire team so that you keep on growing financially every year. 

Here is an example to give you a better idea of a financial projection: 

  • Revenue: $500,000
  • Cost of services provided: $250,000
  • Gross profit: $250,000
  • Operating expenses: $100,000
  • Net income: $150,000

10. SWOT analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is a strategic planning tool that helps you identify and analyze internal and external factors that can affect the operations and profitability of your business. 

Here’s a breakdown of each component of the SWOT analysis:

  • Strengths: These are internal factors that give you an advantage over other recycling businesses. It includes your business’s core competencies, unique selling points, financial stability, and other resources.
  • Weaknesses: These are internal factors that put your business at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. It can be a lack of resources, inexperienced staff, poor infrastructure, etc.
  • Opportunities: These are external factors such as emerging trends, changes in regulations, new markets, or partnerships that your business can capitalize on to improve its operations and profitability.
  • Threats: These are external factors that can negatively impact your business’s operations and profitability. It can be market competition, economic downturns, changing regulations, natural disasters, etc.

By conducting a SWOT analysis, you will have a better understanding of what to capitalize on (strengths and opportunities) as well as figure out weaknesses and potential threats.

To identify your target market, you need to consider factors such as location, demographic, and behavior. Determine the type of recyclables products that are in demand and the consumers who are likely to use recycling services.

The startup costs for a recycling business can range from $10,000 to $20,000, depending on the size and type of operation.

One should establish a strong marketing strategy that promotes your services and highlights the benefits of recycling in order to attract more clients. Additionally, you can use social media platforms, local advertising, and community outreach to raise awareness of your business.

The success of a recycling business can be measured through various metrics such as revenue growth, customer retention rate, and the volume of recyclables collected and processed.

All in all, a recycling business plan is a crucial roadmap that outlines your company’s mission, services, target market, sales and marketing strategy, financial projections, and operational plan. 

A well-crafted plan can help you secure financing, attract clients and guide your business toward sustainable growth and profitability. So, go through these all components before you start your recycling business because it is worth all the effort. In case you want to streamline your waste collection process, it is recommended to use software like Upper. You can explore its features by taking a 30 days FREE TRIAL . 

Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.

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Recycling Company Business Plan Sample

AUG.26, 2013

Recycling company business plan for starting your own business?

If you are considering starting up your own recycling company, you should know that the business opportunities available are as wide-ranging and varied as the tons of stuff that we dispose of every day. Starting a recycling company business does not require you to hold technical knowledge, you can start it with a small team and with less funding. You can start it at any scale and can expand or narrow down your offerings whenever you want.

To start any business, it is important to follow the proper procedure. First, you will have to develop a business plan . To learn how to write a recycling proposal, you can take help from this provided sample. This is a business plan for a recycling company named ‘Greenworks Recycling Center’. This business plan would also be helpful in writing scrap metal business plan .

Executive Summary

2.1 the business.

Greenworks Recycling Center will be a recycling company owned by Ardon John in New York. The primary aim of the business will be to recycle and reuse plastic waste materials. Our recycling company will focus to recycle plastic wastes like plastic containers, bottles, polythene, polybag, plastic boxes, packets, sheets, and the like, and turn them into useful products. The business will offer a wide range of services and products for the ease of its customers.

2.2 Management of recycling company

To start a plastic recycling business, you must have strong management skills. Adequate planning is necessary to ensure flawless management. There is no better way to plan out every aspect of your company than developing a recycling company business plan pdf like the one offered here. 

A relevant business plan such as a business plan for e waste recycling company can also help you write your strategic plan. 

In this recycling business proposal, we will guide you on all the major aspects of a strong business plan. This  business plan is written for investors   as Ardon needed funding to set up his recycling business. 

2.3 Customers of recycling company

Our customers and the people who will benefit from our products and services are expected to belong to both ends of the supply chain. Our customers will belong to almost all work domains as plastic recycling is required in many diverse areas nowadays. However, our potential and recurring customers are identified as follows:

  • Commercial Businesses
  • Residential Community
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Units
  • Government 

2.4 Business Target

Our target is to become the most trustworthy and reliable choice for our target customers whenever they need recycled and reused plastic materials. 

Our financial targets to meet for the first three years of our launch are demonstrated below:

Company Summary

3.1 greenworks recycling center owner.

This Greenworks Recycling Center will be owned by Mr. Ardon John. Ardon Jack completed his master’s in environmental sciences a few years back. After his academic career, he pursued a manager position in a noteworthy recycling company. Recently, he left his job to start his own business of recycling plastic materials to create environmentally friendly products.

3.2 Why the recycling company is being started

Ardon noticed that as the environmental movements began to take hold on a national scale, recycling started to be viewed as a personal manifestation of helping the environment. So, he decided to bring innovation to existing modes through his intellect and knowledge. Therefore, he decided to start his own recycling business to fully implement the great ideas he had.

3.3 How the recycling company will be started

Step1: Plan Out Everything

To learn how to start your own recycling company, first, you will have to make a business plan. To help you in creating a business plan we are providing a recycling company business plan . For opening a recycling business, you can take help from this business sample or go through other business plans like greentech consulting business plans to get an idea of what to include when planning for a startup. 

Step2: Branding

The next step is to get your company and its values and services recognized by customers. For this purpose, Greenworks Recycling Center will make a brand that people can trust. Defining the brand is important as it enables you to introduce a good image of your business to your customers. It also helps you create a space for yourself in the market.

Step3: Physical Space 

The next step is establishing the physical presence of the business and for this purpose, Ardon decided to buy a large place in the outskirts of New York. To set up his recycling company, he acquired land that had shades, a closed space, large rooms, and a technical room. After acquiring the space, he got the machinery installed there.

Step4: Online Presence

A wider audience can be attracted through online channels so establishing an online presence is a must if you start a business nowadays. Ardon decided to make a mobile-friendly app, website, and social media page for his business to reach out to a wider audience. 

Step5: Advertisement

Marketing is the most important thing for the promotion of the business. Ardon will develop a thorough plan for the advertisement of his business. In later sections, we will document the sales strategy developed by Ardon.

Marketing is the most important thing for the promotion of the business. Ardon will develop a thorough plan for the advertisement of his business.

Services of recycling company

Your business plan of recycling company must include the services that you will provide to your targeted customers. You may have many plastic recycling business opportunities, but you have to choose the ones that are in the most demand in your target location. 

For starting a recycling company, you can follow this guide on how to open a recycling business to figure out what the market for the business looks like and what services are ideal to be included in your startup. This business plan sample can also aid in writing other business plans such as business plan for a distilled business. 

Following are the services that will be provided by our Greenworks Recycling Center Company:

  • Plastic material retrieval 

This will be the main service offered by us. We will retrieve plastic material from solid waste and process it for recycling or reuse. Plastic is of distinctive types and it usually has joint material attached to it. Our company will segregate plastic consisting of different polymers, strengths, and qualities.

  • Waste Awareness Services

To ensure that our customers send the right materials to be recycled, we will spread information about the materials that can be recycled and the ones that cannot be. This information will be distributed every time we enter into a partnership with a company or an organization.

  • Dumpster and Container Rental Services 

Our customers will be able to take advantage of our low-cost dumpsters and containers that they can rent out for a short period. 

  • Plastic Sale 

The plastic materials we purchase and retrieve will be sold to local buyers and the ones from other states. We will try to make recycled plastic material buyers a permanent customer group for the business.

Marketing analysis of recycling company

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excellent work, competent advice. Alex is very friendly, great communication. 100% I recommend CGS capital. Thank you so much for your hard work!

To learn how to start up a recycling business, you should have an excellent understanding of your target market. You can gain this understanding by doing an extensive market analysis as a part of yourmarketing plan for recycling business. This analysis should look into current market trends as well as compare them with past trends. The same marketing plan can be used for business plan for an e waste recycling company.

Your recycling business model should also analyze the rates of similar services in the market. If you don’t know how to open a recycling business company and how to price your offerings then you can take help from this business plan. 

This business plan can also be used to make other business plans like electronic recycling business plan and waste paper recycling business plan. 

5.1 Market Trends

According to IBIS World, the recycling industry holds a market size of £77 Billion in the United States, employing almost 70,961 people. The industry is continuously in demand as more and more people adopt recycling in their life. So, opening a  plastic scrap recycling business is a very smart move as the demand will only increase.

5.2 Marketing Segmentation

The potential customers of Greenworks Recycling Center are divided into the following groups:

5.2.1 Commercial Businesses

Our commercial customers will range from smaller retail businesses to urban skyscrapers with high-volume waste streams. We will provide permanent, temporary, and need-based trash removal and recycling services.

5.2.2 Residential Community

Residential customers have a variety of materials to be recycled. Some households generate enough trash making it economically feasible for the resident to utilize a larger commercial-sized trash container for weekly trash service. 

5.2.3 Industrial and manufacturing

Industrial customers frequently require roll-off dumpsters, compactors, trash containers, and waste plastic recycling equipment. Industrial customers are expected to contact us for scrap metal hauling and redemption, cardboard and waste paper recycling, construction and demolition debris collection, and trash disposal.

5.2.4 Government

Our company will also provide trash and recycling services to government buildings and organizations.

5.3 Business Target

  • To provide a green way of disposing of trash to our customers 
  • To earn a net profit margin of up to £70k per month by the end of the fifth year
  • To achieve and maintain a CSAT score above 92%

5.4 Product Pricing

Our prices will be economical as compared to our competitors. We aim to provide the best services at a nominal rate.

Marketing Strategy

To start a recycling company, you must develop the best business plan with an impressive sales strategy. A strong marketing strategy is needed to attract a wider audience. To gain attention in the market among your competitors, you need to highlight your competitive advantages. 

This is a business plan developed for Greenworks Recycling Center by a business consultancy firm. You can use this business plan to write other business plans like shoe business plan . You can learn a lot from here if you are even making a skateboard store business plan .

6.1 Competitive Analysis

  • Our custom programs will ensure that you have the right containers, schedules, and operations. 
  • We’ll implement green cleaning practices by using eco-friendly and non-toxic recycling operations.
  • Through our website and user-friendly mobile app, our customers would be able to book our services remotely.

6.2 Sales Strategy

  • We’ll use online channels like Google Local ads service and social media to attract a wider audience.
  • We’ll provide free waste pick-up services for one month to our first ten customers.
  • We’ll offer a 30% discount on specialized recycling services for the first month of our launch.

6.3 Sales Monthly

6.4 sales yearly, 6.5 sales forecast, personnel plan.

The success of an eco-conscious business such as a recycling business depends not only on its services but also on the values and behavior of its workforce. So, you have to be very careful when you are hiring employees in your company. You also need to be very diligent in background checks when hiring for these positions. 

This business plan for a plastic recycling company has all the detail regarding the employment practices of a recycling service business. The same personnel plan can be used for starting a paper recycling plant.

7.1 Company Staff

The list of employees, necessary for the business to function, includes:

  • 1 CEO/ Manager
  • 6 Recycling Plant Personnel
  • 1 Operations Executive 
  • 1 Technician to upkeep the recycling machinery
  • 1 Accountant

7.2 Average Salary of Employees

Financial plan.

It is essential to manage your operations timely and efficiently to earn recycling business profit. A detailed financial analysis is necessary to ensure that your business is not getting into a loss. The recycling companies business plan must contain all the financial information to help analyze how to direct cash flows to earn revenue.

Evaluating the startup costs are also important for your financial plan. In your financial plan, you must identify when and how you’ll cover your investment amount with the earned profits. It would also help you to analyze your yearly expenses to determine the possibilities of reducing them. To know how to make an accurate financial plan and which projections to include in it, you can see this business plan. Here we’re providing the detailed financial plan made for Greenworks Recycling center. 

The financial plan of this sample can also be used to write jewelry business plan .

8.1 Important Assumptions

8.2 break-even analysis, 8.3 projected profit and loss, 8.3.1 profit monthly, 8.3.2 profit yearly, 8.3.3 gross margin monthly, 8.3.4 gross margin yearly, 8.4 projected cash flow, 8.5 projected balance sheet, 8.6 business ratios.

  • Is the recycling business profitable?

Yes, if you start recycle business after doing proper planning, it can be immensely profitable.

  • Which recycling business is most profitable?

The wastepaper recycling business is the most profitable. A paper recycling business proposal is necessary for starting a business in this domain. You can also consider the start up plastic recycling business as it is a strong contender for the most profitable recycling businesses. 

  • How do I start a recycling business?

A recycle company business plan is needed to start a recycling business. Along with this a strong operations and marketing strategy is also needed. 

  • Why recycling is not profitable?

The only reason behind a recycling business not yielding the desired profits can be inaccurate planning. If you follow the stepwise guide given in this business plan recycling company, your business is not likely to get into a loss.

Download Recycling Company Business Plan Sample in pdf

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than £1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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How to Start a Recycling Business in 5 Simple Steps

If you have a passion for saving the planet and a drive to make some green while going green, getting into the business of recycling may be the right route for you to take. 

However, starting a recycling business is not as easy as placing some bins around your city and collecting what people drop in them every week. 

There is much more that goes into this type of work. If you’re considering starting a recycling business but don’t know where to begin, we are here to help. 

Because though it seems simple, you need to make sure that this business is profitable enough to be worth your while, determine what you need to get things started, and prepare for some challenges that you may face along the way. 

Read on to find out what you need to know to start your recycling business today.

5 Steps to Start a Recycling Business

Starting a recycling business is easy when you break it down into attainable steps. Follow these instructions to get started:

  • Research the industry
  • Determine the costs involved
  • Register the business
  • Find a facility
  • Get equipment

How to start a recycling business in 5 easy steps.

The Easy Parts of Starting a Recycling Business

Not all of the recycling business has to be difficult. 

In fact, there are some fun parts of it that you will enjoy, aside from helping the environment, of course. 

Here are a couple of easy decisions that you want to get started thinking about. 

Choosing What You Want To R ecycle

When many people think of the term “recycling,” they often refer to it as a general term that encompasses all sorts of waste and materials. 

But, when you’re on the inside and working in the industry of recycling, you learn that things get much more specific. 

The specifics start with deciding what kind of materials you want to recycle. You may opt to do just one of these, or you may want to attack recycling multiple. 

Here are the most popular types of waste and materials to recycle. 

  • Food Waste. You would be amazed at the amount of food that gets wasted in the United States every year. According to Nutrition Connect, in 2020, 80 billion pounds of food was thrown away . Think about the difference you can make if you find a way to recycle that!
  • Glass. This is a fairly easy material to recycle, as it can easily be melted and made into all sorts of things that people use in their daily lives, including drinking glasses. 
  • Plastic. Plastic is the most common type of recycling that exists today and is something that our country uses a great deal of. So instead of having it end up in landfills, you can work to recycle it. 
  • Paper. Recycling paper is, for the most part, very easy. You simply have to sort the paper into different types, remove the ink, bleach the paper, and make it into something new. This form of recycling tends to be more profitable since the costs are minimal. 
  • Ink Cartridges. Did you know that ink cartridges take up to 1000 years to decompose ? We don’t want to dump our current problems on future generations so it’s important to get started on recycling this material today. You may want to consider a recycling business that allows people to refill their ink cartridges, which saves not only the environment but also money for the consumer. Ink cartridges are not cheap.  
  • Batteries. Batteries are filled with all sorts of chemicals, many of which are harmful to the environment. That’s why they should be recycled rather than thrown away. 
  • Computers. The materials that computers are made of typically consist of plastic and metal, which can both be recycled. Consider taking apart computers and recycling their materials.
  • Tires. Tires take a long time to decompose and burning them creates a lot of pollution due to their high rubber content. Instead, consider recycling tires by melting them and molding them into new materials.
  • Clothing. Second-hand clothing is making a big comeback, so you may want to consider jumping on this bandwagon. You can either re-sell used clothing or recycle clothing to be used in manufacturing new items. 
  • Scrap Metal. The costs of this type of recycling business are low and only require a few tools.  

Deciding How To Collect The Waste M aterial

There are a few different ways that you can opt to collect the recycled materials that you plan to work with. 

  • Facility Drop-Off. With this method, you can have a facility that people can bring their recycled materials to where you sort them.
  • Curbside Pick-Up. This method means you have a team that collects recycled materials from peoples’ homes and businesses on a regular basis.
  • Drop-Off Centers. You can opt to set up drop-off centers throughout a city and have your team collect from them regularly.

If you opt to either do the curbside pickup or the multiple drop-off centers options, then you may want to consider using an app called BusyBusy .

BusyBusy tracking software homepage.

By using this app to track operators and machines in your recycling business, you can determine how productive different drivers are as well as how profitable the routes are that they’re using. 

On top of that, the app can be used by each of your employees to clock in and out and also to select the project or activity that they’re working on for the day. Specific equipment can be logged with the amount of time it is being used so that you can see whether the equipment you invested in is really worth the costs.

The Difficult Parts of Starting a Recycling Business

Unfortunately running a recycling business is not all fun and games, and sometimes the going gets tough. 

But, as a business owner, the tough get going, and to help you stay on the path of success with your recycling business, we are sharing some of the difficult parts that you want to prepare for. 

Determining Profitabili ity

Before you get too deep into your business ideas, you want to make sure that the recycling industry is profitable for you. 

This means understanding what equipment you need (which varies depending on the type of recycling you opt to get into). 

You also want to make sure to price the costs of processes such as: 

  • Delivering recyclables 

The profitability of this business is also determined by how much processing costs, which depends on the material you’re recycling. 

It is important to keep in mind that products that have heavy energy requirements tend to have a greater recycling profit. However, you don’t want to go too far, as some products that require excessive energy to recycle will result in lower profits. It’s all about finding that happy medium.

Creating A Business P lan

This is a step you want to take before you dive into starting the business. 

You need to take the time to have theoretical discussions about the business and document what you find. You also need to research (which we discuss in more detail below) to find actual numbers to use in your business plan. 

You can either opt to write the business plan yourself or hire a professional consultant to do it for you. The choice is yours (but should be determined by how much time you have to spend, and how much experience you have in business plans). 

Determining Your B uyers

Once you have recycled the materials, what will you do with them? 

Make sure that you do your research to find out which industries have a demand for the materials that you’re planning to recycle and look into how much buyers will pay for your recyclables in a variety of forms.

Step 1: Research the Industry

The recycling industry should be heavily researched before moving forward with your business ideas.

You need to take the time to evaluate the market and see where things are. Here are the two most important parts of research.

Look at Competition

Do market research to determine who your competition is, how successful they are, and whether there is enough volume in your area to support another recycling business (yours). 

Is your competition only recycling paper so that means you can jump on other materials that they are ignoring? Take a look at what niche is best for you to compete in that allows you to be profitable.

Also, be aware that some cities and counties provide their own recycling services. If you live in one of these, you may need to get creative to compete with city hall. 

Look into Government and Environmental Agency Incentives

Government and other environmental agencies often offer grants or special loans that can help you with costs including your facility, staff, electricity, equipment, transportation, storage, handling of materials, and more. 

Because the start-up costs for a recycling business can be high in the first month, you may want to consider the government’s low-rate loans. 

The incentives offered usually vary from state to state so be sure to research the state in which you plan to run your recycling business.

Step 2: Determine the Costs Involved

The costs involved in your recycling business are determined first by the type of business you opt to have. 

This includes the type of materials that you choose to recycle as well as the type of recycling system you have. 

Having people drop things off at a facility or setting up drop-off stations throughout the city will usually come at a lower cost than a curbside pick-up. This is mainly because with curbside pick-up, you need to have more workers to get the job done. 

Recycling in a facility that is a bit outside of town is also going to lower your costs since real estate is cheaper as you get further away from a city center. However, this can be an issue with ensuring that people come to your facility to drop off their recyclables. You will need to weigh the pros/cons of this. 

Here are some general costs for starting your recycling business: 

  • Processing facility (ranges depending on your city, but usually starting at around $1500/month and going up from there)
  • Drop-off units (around $1000 each)
  • Employees (at least minimum wage, maybe more)
  • Equipment (between $5,000 – $10,000 to start)
  • Utilities for running your facility
  • Transportation
  • Recycling bins

Step 3: Register The Business

Before you begin any operations with your recycling business, you need to register the business with your local government. 

Because this will take a lot of time for a business such as this, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to help with this process.

Find someone who has a great deal of experience in registering businesses similar to recycling and that can get the paperwork done correctly and on time so that you can get things started as soon as possible.

Step 4: Find a Facility

Whether you opt to have people drop off their recyclables at your facility or you choose to do pick-ups, you need a facility to perform the actual process of recycling. 

So, the next step in the process is finding a facility. 

You need a place that is large enough for you to store all of your equipment and that also can serve as an office for you and your employees. 

Thus, you must take the time to find a facility that serves all the purposes you need it to for your recycling business. Because of the high costs of a facility like this, as mentioned above, you may have to go a bit outside of the city to find something that is a reasonable price.

And once you do, it is advised that you either rent or lease the space rather than purchase it. This helps to keep your spending low, as a large portion of your money will be going towards equipment to use in the facility.

Step 5: Get Equipment

Speaking of equipment, that brings us to the next step of actually investing in equipment for your recycling business.

The success of your business relies greatly upon the equipment that you use. Here is some of the equipment you will want and need: 

  • Containers 

The equipment will be the bulk of your spending when you start the business so make sure that you take the time to research and talk to experts so that you invest in the best machinery. 

Once you’ve got your equipment, you will love using the BusyBusy app to track your workers, the time they work, and their usage of the various machinery you purchased. 

BusyBusy Heavy Equipment Time tracking app homepage.

There is a free version of BusyBusy available that offers: 

  • Time tracking for projects, sub-projects, job codes, and equipment
  • Employee time tracking
  • Clock in / clock out GPS
  • Employee digital timecard signature
  • Equipment app
  • Custom overtime calculations 

The Pro version is priced at $9.99/user/month with annual billing ($11.99/month for monthly billing). This version offers everything that the free version does as well as: 

  • Supervisor and kiosk time tracking
  • Advanced reports on web and mobile
  • Supervisor tools
  • Project photos and notes
  • Safety report
  • Kiosk (facial recognition with AI notification)
  • Time accuracy sign-off

A Premium version is also available for $14.99/user/month when billed annually. It includes everything offered with Pro plus additional features like daily project reports, team messaging, and checklists.

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Recycling Business Plan

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Environmental benefits, high demand, and a recurring profit model make starting a recycling business a lucrative and rewarding profession.

Anyone can start a new business, but you need a detailed business plan when it comes to raising funding, applying for loans, and scaling it like a pro.

Need help writing a business plan for your recycling business? You’re at the right place. Our recycling business plan template will help you get started.

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Free Business Plan Template

Download our free business plan template now and pave the way to success. Let’s turn your vision into an actionable strategy!

  • Fill in the blanks – Outline
  • Financial Tables

How to Write a Recycling Business Plan?

Writing a recycling business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan. However, it is written after the entire business plan is ready and summarizes each section of your plan.

Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary:

Introduce your Business:

  • This section may include the name of your recycling business, its location, when it was founded, the type of recycling business (E.g., paper recycling, metal recycling, glass recycling, tire recycling), etc.

Market opportunity:

Products and services:.

  • For instance, you may include collection & sorting, material processing, manufactured products from recycled materials, sustainable waste management solutions, etc.

Marketing & Sales Strategies:

Financial highlights:, call to action:.

Ensure your executive summary is clear, concise, easy to understand, and jargon-free.

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business plan for recycling

2. Business Overview

The business overview section of your business plan offers detailed information about your company. The details you add will depend on how important they are to your business. Yet, business name, location, business history, and future goals are some of the foundational elements you must consider adding to this section:

Business Description:

  • Paper recycling business
  • Plastic recycling business
  • Metal recycling business
  • E-waste recycling business
  • Glass recycling business
  • Tire recycling business
  • Construction & demolition recycling business
  • Explain where your business is located and why you selected the place.

Mission statement:

Business history:.

  • Additionally, If you have received any awards or recognition for excellent work, describe them.

Future goals:

This section should provide a thorough understanding of your business, its history, and its future plans. Keep this section engaging, precise, and to the point.

3. Market Analysis

The market analysis section of your business plan should offer a thorough understanding of the industry with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. You should include the following components in this section.

Target market:

  • For instance, government agencies, commercial & industrial businesses, residential customers, manufacturing & industrial facilities, or educational institutions would be an ideal target audience for a commercial recycling business.

Market size and growth potential:

Competitive analysis:, market trends:.

  • For instance, sustainable fleets have a booming market; explain how you plan on dealing with this potential growth opportunity.

Regulatory environment:

Here are a few tips for writing the market analysis section of your recycling business plan:

  • Conduct market research, industry reports, and surveys to gather data.
  • Provide specific and detailed information whenever possible.
  • Illustrate your points with charts and graphs.
  • Write your business plan keeping your target audience in mind.

4. Product and Services

The product and services section should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:

Describe your products & services:

Mention the recycling products& services your business will offer. This list may include

  • Collection & sorting services
  • Material processing
  • Manufactured products from recycled materials
  • Composting services
  • Waste audits & consulting
  • Education & awareness programs

Quality measures:

  • This may include material sorting & contamination control, compliance with environmental regulations, product quality standards, continuous improvement & innovation, etc.

Additional Services:

In short, this section of your recycling plan must be informative, precise, and client-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.

5. Sales And Marketing Strategies

Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:

Unique Selling Proposition (USP):

  • For example, comprehensive recycling solutions, advanced recycling technologies, or collaborative partnerships could be some of the great USPs for a professional recycling company.

Pricing Strategy:

Marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.

Overall, this section of your recycling business plan should focus on customer acquisition and retention.

Have a specific, realistic, and data-driven approach while planning sales and marketing strategies for your recycling business, and be prepared to adapt or make strategic changes in your strategies based on feedback and results.

6. Operations Plan

The operations plan section of your business plan should outline the processes and procedures involved in your business operations, such as staffing requirements and operational processes. Here are a few components to add to your operations plan:

Staffing & Training:

Operational process:, equipment & machinery:.

  • Explain how these technologies help you maintain quality standards and improve the efficiency of your business operations.

Adding these components to your operations plan will help you lay out your business operations, which will eventually help you manage your business effectively.

7. Management Team

The management team section provides an overview of your recycling business’s management team. This section should provide a detailed description of each manager’s experience and qualifications, as well as their responsibilities and roles.


Key managers:.

  • It should include, key executives(e.g. COO, CMO.), senior management, and other department managers (e.g. general manager, operations manager, sales & marketing manager.) involved in the recycling business operations, including their education, professional background, and any relevant experience in the industry.

Organizational structure:

Compensation plan:, advisors/consultants:.

  • So, if you have any advisors or consultants, include them with their names and brief information consisting of roles and years of experience.

This section should describe the key personnel for your recycling services, highlighting how you have the perfect team to succeed.

8. Financial Plan

Your financial plan section should provide a summary of your business’s financial projections for the first few years. Here are some key elements to include in your financial plan:

Profit & loss statement:

Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:.

  • This exercise will help you understand how much revenue you need to generate to sustain or be profitable.

Financing needs:

Be realistic with your financial projections, and make sure you offer relevant information and evidence to support your estimates.

9. Appendix

The appendix section of your plan should include any additional information supporting your business plan’s main content, such as market research, legal documentation, financial statements, and other relevant information.

  • Add a table of contents for the appendix section to help readers easily find specific information or sections
  • In addition to your financial statements, provide additional financial documents like tax returns, a list of assets within the business, credit history, and more. These statements must be the latest and offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
  • Provide data derived from market research, including stats about the industry, user demographics, and industry trends.
  • Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
  • Include any additional documentation related to your business plan, such as product brochures, marketing materials, operational procedures, etc.

Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the necessary information.

Remember, the appendix section of your recycling business plan should only include relevant and important information supporting your plan’s main content.

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This sample recycling business plan will provide an idea for writing a successful recycling plan, including all the essential components of your business.

After this, if you still need clarification about writing an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, download our recycling business plan pdf .

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Frequently asked questions, why do you need a recycling business plan.

A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful recycling business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.

Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your recycling company.

How to get funding for your recycling business?

There are several ways to get funding for your recycling business, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:

  • Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
  • Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your business, usually online.
  • Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought startup options.

Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available, check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.

Where to find business plan writers for your recycling business?

There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and ideas better than you, so we recommend you write your recycling business plan and outline your vision as you have in your mind.

What is the easiest way to write your recycling business plan?

A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any recycling business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .

How do I write a good market analysis in a recycling business plan?

Market analysis is one of the key components of your business plan that requires deep research and a thorough understanding of your industry.

We can categorize the process of writing a good market analysis section into the following steps:

  • Stating the objective of your market analysis—e.g., investor funding.
  • Industry study—market size, growth potential, market trends, etc.
  • Identifying target market—based on user behavior and demographics.
  • Analyzing direct and indirect competitors.
  • Calculating market share—understanding TAM, SAM, and SOM.
  • Knowing regulations and restrictions
  • Organizing data and writing the first draft.

Writing a marketing analysis section can be overwhelming, but using ChatGPT for market research can make things easier.

How detailed should the financial projections be in my recycling business plan?

The level of detail of the financial projections of your recycling business may vary considering various business aspects like direct and indirect competition, pricing, and operational efficiency. However, your financial projections must be comprehensive enough to demonstrate a complete view of your financial performance.

Generally, the statements included in a business plan offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.

What key components should a recycling business plan include?

The following are the key components your recycling business plan must include:

  • Executive summary
  • Business Overview
  • Market Analysis
  • Products and services
  • Sales and marketing strategies
  • Operations plan
  • Management team
  • Financial plan

Can a good recycling business plan help me secure funding?

Indeed. A well-crafted recycling business will help your investors better understand your business domain, market trends, strategies, business financials, and growth potential—helping them make better financial decisions.

So, if you have a profitable and investable business, a comprehensive business plan can certainly help you secure your business funding.

What's the importance of a marketing strategy in a recycling business plan?

Marketing strategy is a key component of your recycling business plan. Whether it is about achieving certain business goals or helping your investors understand your plan to maximize their return on investment—an impactful marketing strategy is the way to do it!

Here are a few pointers to help you understand the importance of having an impactful marketing strategy:

  • It provides your business an edge over your competitors.
  • It helps investors better understand your business and growth potential.
  • It helps you develop products with the best profit potential.
  • It helps you set accurate pricing for your products or services.

About the Author

business plan for recycling

Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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Solving Business Challenges

Helping businesses grow, how to start and optimize a recycling business in 2022.

August 4, 2022

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Circular economies—economies  designed to be regenerative —are growing in popularity, which is probably why you want to start a recycling business. Smart.

The recycling industry is a major factor in driving this change. As more entrepreneurs consider recycling as a viable business option, it’s important to understand what makes recycling companies successful.

This guide covers everything you need to know about starting and optimizing a recycling business, including:

5 Recycling Business Ideas

How to start a recycling business, route optimization: a key growth driver for successful recycling companies, how to optimize your recycling business with optimoroute.

Before you start planning your recycling business, you have to pick a niche—or a type of good—you want to recycle. (You can’t choose ‘em all.) Why? The short answer is: it would be too expensive. Different recyclable materials require different methods of collection, sorting, and processing, and the recycling industry is heavily regulated by both federal and local governments. Trying to process and abide by regulations for multiple niches would be cost-prohibitive. 

Let’s review some potential business ideas (i.e., niches) based on different types of recyclable materials:

business plan for recycling

Mobile recycling collection

Mobile recycling refers to collecting all manner of mobile phones, from flip phones to smartphones.  An estimated  95% of 18-49 year-olds  owned a smartphone in 2021. Mobile phones are a  growing source of waste  in landfills. Recycling mobile phones can be profitable for you and better for the environment.

Electronics recycling

As a whole, the term  e-waste   loosely refers to business and consumer electronic equipment that’s  no longer functional . Recycling programs that handle e-waste handle everything from computer monitors to microwave ovens. 

As recycling centers evolve to be able to process more of the sheer abundance of discarded electronics, this niche will continue to grow. From 2010 to 2019 alone, global e-waste production nearly doubled, growing from  33.8 to 53.6 million metric tons .

Aluminum recycling

Aluminum is light, durable, and used in many different ways, which is why aluminum is in  high demand for consumer goods . Aluminum is also very abundant. However, it takes a  disproportionate amount  of work and energy to refine and produce new aluminum for manufacturing.

Therefore, despite its availability, a recycling business that allows us to reuse aluminum instead is advantageous for manufacturers (and for recycling business owners).

Appliance recycling

In the recycling market, appliance recycling generally refers to large-scale home appliances like laundry machines, refrigerators, and stoves. 

As living standards and per capita income continue to rise globally, appliances will offer a growing source of recyclable materials. In fact, the global market for appliance recycling will be worth almost  $850 million  by 2025. 

Plastic recycling

As part of the swell in environmentalism and Earth-first thinking in the 70s, consumers learned that most plastics aren’t biodegradable. Though recycling culture blossomed around attempts to curb plastic usage, market demand remains high due to plastic’s low production costs, durability, and versatility. 

In 2018, plastics alone accounted for almost  20% of landfill waste . This means plastics recycling is growing as a business opportunity, especially as current processing methods make them much easier to reuse. Global Industry Analysts, Inc. predicts the plastic recycling market will reach  $47.3 billion  by 2026.

Once you have a sense of which niche fits you best, the process of starting your recycling business can begin.

business plan for recycling

Start with a business plan

While they don’t sound super exciting, business plans are secret weapons in the small business world. Because a business plan acts as your north star, it will help you  stay on track  while your business gets off the ground. While any form of business plan should work for you, there are basics any plan for a recycling business  needs to cover . These include:

  • What types of materials are you going to recycle?
  • How will you collect and drop off recyclable material?
  • Will the recyclable material of your niche include any hazardous waste?
  • Who will buy the recycled product?
  • How will you finance your business? 
  • How will you keep your business efficient and profitable over time?

A major aspect of creating your business plan should also include how you’ll  cover business costs . Again, depending on your niche, these costs will vary. General costs for a recycling business typically include:

  • Access to processing complexes
  • Transportation of recyclable materials
  • Employees and support staff
  • Waste management equipment
  • Utilities, solid waste permitting, licenses, etc.

Once your business plan’s complete, you’ll know how much funding you’ll need to secure to start your business. The next step? 

Finding those funds…

Find funding

A truism in business is it takes money to make money. A recycling business is no exception (i.e., you gotta find green to go green). One advantage other industries may not benefit from is the growing support for entrepreneurs contributing to circular economies.

In addition to traditional sources of business funding, federal government grants exist  solely to help business startups .

Take advantage of websites like  by searching for terms like “recycling” and reviewing which opportunities are currently available. Other levels of government are also worth exploring (especially with the help of sites like the  Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency ).

But don’t limit your thinking to grants alone.  Other forms of financial assistance  for recycling startups can include  private funding ,  low-interest loans , and  tax incentives .

Purchase equipment

When starting out, one of your first major decisions will involve whether you purchase your initial equipment or rent/lease it. Based on your niche and business plan, it may seem like you’ll start out processing enough recyclable material to justify the purchase of waste management equipment.

Remember, though, that the cost of the equipment itself is only a fraction of the overall cost to you, the business owner. When purchasing, you’ll also be responsible for maintenance, repairs, and the salaries of the people who operate it. As a new recycling business owner, it’s often tough to know how much of which type of equipment you’ll need.

For these reasons, leasing may well be the savvier move for most owners as their business gets off the ground.

Hire a team

During the planning process, it’s also important to  identify which specific roles  you’ll need to fill when starting your recycling business. For example, recycling centers often employ a combination of drivers, sorters, mechanics/technicians, facility managers, recycling coordinators, route managers, and sales reps.

Also certain technologies like route optimization software have  experienced growth  in both demand and performance over the past few years. This means transportation-based business owners (both new and current) are wise to balance  finding the right employees  vs. investing in technology to  meet their operational demands . 

Offer mobile pickup

For some recycling niches, a majority of your business may involve sending drivers on predetermined routes. For electronics and aluminum-focused businesses, offering mobile pickup will appeal to potential customers who need recycling services less frequently, but who do end up with large amounts of recyclable material on ocassion. 

These potentially lucrative opportunities are hard to plan for as a business owner. By offering mobile pickup, you’ll ensure your business benefits from these “one-off” opportunities whenever they present themselves. Don’t forget—by making your mobile pickup service seamless and efficient, you might be impressing future customers. 

Market your business

The potential benefits of mobile pickup also underscore why you need to market your recycling business. Unlike you and your competition, customers aren’t thinking about recycling 24/7. When they do need something recycled, marketing helps ensure the name of your business is top of mind.

Fortunately, marketing doesn’t need to be complicated. Above all else, avoid the temptation to dump money into a  one-size-fits-all approach . Just like a business plan, taking time to plan out who you’re marketing to and how best to do so will pay off long-term. 

As part of your marketing planning, make sure to  map out everything  you know about your main customers in distinct customer profiles. Effective customer profiles give you a sense of which marketing channels your customers look to when they need your services. Then, by focusing on these specific channels, you keep investing your marketing budget in the places your customers are. 

How Bureo’s Making Waves With Their Recycling Business

Studies estimate there are  5 trillion  pieces of plastic afloat in our seas. Discarded fishing nets are one of the most dangerous products contributing to this mess. So,  Bureo’s  made it their business to partner with local communities and fisheries to help collect, clean, and sort fishing nets. Bureo then processes these nets into the patented Netplus™ material. 

This material is then sold for use at major clothing brands like  Patagonia , which creates employment opportunities for local workers and funding for community-based programs.

business plan for recycling

No matter how perfectly you plan, your customers will literally be all over the place due to the nature of the recycling business. Fortunately, route optimization ensures you’re picking up all recycled materials with the  least amount of stops possible. This capability, among others, can be the difference between boom or bust in the recycling industry. 

business plan for recycling

Like many transportation-based industries, driver wages and fuel costs can make up  67% of total operational costs  per mile. Planning for and controlling these costs may arguably be the most important thing you can do when starting your recycling business.

Any form of route optimization is better than none. But modern fleet-planning solutions benefit the entire business (not just the owner). For instance,  OptimoRoute  can:

Automatically plan routes Owners can import thousands of orders and let the optimization software plan the ideal route for every driver. Smartphone apps provide order information, navigation, route updates, and the status of orders in real time.

Since OptimoRoute adapts to workflow constraints in real time, the software maximizes orders performed while simultaneously reducing costs.

Assign drivers and schedules Using OptimoRoute, owners can determine ideal shift start times for individual employees, balancing employee schedules with customer expectations.

The software also provides this information in real time, meaning owners can balance workloads throughout the day/week, ensuring no one employee is under—or over—utilized.

Minimize time on the road and save fuel Efficient routing means fewer trucks and drivers needed for day-to-day operations. This boosts profits. Minimizing time on the road also benefits the environment.

Using best-in-class tools like OptimoRoute, some companies have saved up to  20% in mileage  and improved  order capacity by 100% , all without increasing the size of their fleets. 

The Optimized Recycling Business: Your Competitive Advantage in 2022

While there are a lot of factors to consider when starting a recycling business, the ability to optimize your operations is an undeniable advantage. This is why it’s wise to engineer optimization right into the DNA of your business planning.

To help you do exactly that, take a deeper dive into our  automated route planning software  for waste collection businesses.

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How to Start a Recycling Business

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business plan for recycling

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If you're considering starting up your own recycling operation, you should know that the business opportunities available are as wide-ranging and varied as the tons of stuff that we dispose of every day.

Here's an overview to get you started thinking about the recycling business . The links go to sample business plans for these types of recycling businesses. They're not just how-to examples for writers of business plans. Some contain a wealth of detailed information about the businesses.

Medical Waste Recycling 

Medical waste refers to disposables generated at healthcare facilities such as clinics, hospitals, blood banks, dental practices, physician offices, veterinary hospitals, as well as laboratories and medical research facilities.

According to the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988, "Medical Waste is defined as any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals."

Some of the most common waste materials include discarded surgical instruments, discarded surgical gloves, culture dishes and other glassware, blood-soaked bandages, discarded lancets, removed body organs, cultures, stocks, swabs used to inoculate cultures, and discarded needles.

This business plan introduces Blue Cross® Medical Waste Recycling, LLC, a licensed waste management company that focuses on the recycling of medical waste. 

Recycling Center, Inc.

Many recyclable product dealers, wholesalers, and even manufacturers seek out bulk recyclable materials, usually purchasing them by the ton.

The business plan of New York-based company Recycling Center, Inc. shows how recyclable items such as metal, paper, and plastic can be sorted out, processed and resold in bulk numbers to these dealers, wholesalers and distributors from an established recycling center. 

Plastic Recycling

Plastic recycling operations gather, sort and resell used coffee cups, soft drink bottles, shrink wrap, bread bags, cling film, car bumpers, food packaging, milk bottles, cooking oil containers, many other types material.

This business plan identifies all the things that could go wrong in the initial launching of Scottish Recycling Company. It also provides a roadmap to overcoming those problems along with strategies to succeed.

Paper Recycling

You probably can see the demand for recycled paper all around you. Many businesses make it a point of using such products as much as possible to satisfy their eco-conscious customers.

This business plan shows a comprehensive process for recycling paper. It explains ways to earn a profit from used paper and how recycling this material can fulfill growing demand.

Sludge Recycling

This type of business works with municipalities to provide an economical alternative for the disposal of human waste sludge. On the sales side, it offers consumers quality recycled products made from useable waste stream materials.

This company's business plan outlines how it's done.

Specialized Plastic Recycling

There is now a demand for recycled plastic products in consumer and industrial applications. The business plan of Replay Plastics describes one way to profit from that trend. It describes a process for establishing a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) cleaning and refining plant to produce recycled plastic products.

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