Green Careers Guide

Recycling Business

We can recycle nearly everything, if we can find the right way to do it without causing environmental damage. Certain types of plastic for instance, cannot be safely recycled and therefore end up in the landfills for all of eternity. However, there is a lot of room for recycling growth and new green recycling businesses will start and flourish as we all become more aware of our need to protect the environment. Examples include cell phone recycling businesses and companies that will recycle old antifreeze.

How Do I Start a Recycling Business?

* First you identify your market: what will you recycle?
* Next, you define your terms: how will you recycle this item and how will you bring people in?
* Third, you define the profitability of the market: how will you make the money from recycling this item?
* And finally, you define the method: how will you store, transport and dispose of the item you are recycling?

Startup Costs:

Depending on the type of recycling business you are interested in starting the start up costs can range from $2,000 - $10,000. (

What Training, Education or Background Do I Need?

A general education in storage, handling and transporting techniques might be necessary and would certainly depend on the recycled material or product. Handling and storing old car batteries is more dangerous than crushing aluminum cans for instance. If you are hauling the items yourself, you will also need a commercial driver's license. If you are crushing materials on site for easier transportation, then proper training should be used for that as well.

What Are the Income Potentials?

Recycled materials may be subject to market fluctuations just like any other commodity. One day a pound of aluminum will equal one price, the next it will not be half that. The amount of money that you will make will depend on what you are bringing in, the going rate for that material and who you are contracted by in some cases.

What Makes It Green?

Besides the fact that you are recycling on a grand scale, the business itself should be run in a green way including recycled paper, efficient heating and cooling, lighting and other office considerations. All vehicles should be as fuel efficient as possible as well.

Who is the Target Market?

Again, depending on what item or material you are recycling, you might find yourself with a very wide range of customers for your service or with a certain, set group. Advertising should be done to bring as many people into this business for both, financial and ecological reasons.

What Kind of License or Registration Do I Need?

You will need a business operator's license in most parts of the country. In addition, you may need a license to handle dangerous substances if you are recycling certain items or materials.

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