How To Start a Green Waste Recycling Business

  • By: Preetam
  • Date: June 20, 2021
  • Time to read: 10 min.

Do you want to start a green waste recycling business? Read on. 

The green waste recycling industry offers an impressive opportunity for anyone passionate about starting a business with decent investment. 

According to statistics, the recycling industry has provided over 500,000 jobs in the United States. 

In 2019, industry giants like Citi, and Goldman Sachs, invested heavily (over $210 million) in companies building a recycling economy. 

In fact, because of the oil market volatility, smart business owners are beginning to turn to a more reliable way of obtaining products of oil, which is through the recycling business.  

The process involved in the recycling business is pretty simple. Take an abandoned product, subject it to a process, and turn it into another valuable product for a great profit. 

The perks of recycling are that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on its raw materials (they’re painstakingly cheap). 

Funnily, people might even pay to have these recycling materials disposed of. 

On the flip side, starting a green recycling business can be a little complicated. Many factors need to be put into consideration. Cost is one of them. That said, here are 12 steps to creating a perfect green waste recycling business.

Step 1 – Create a Feasible Business Plan

simply put, a business plan is a document that explains all the details of your business. A well-created business plan will cover:

  • What you plan to sell (recyclable business)
  • How your business will be structured
  • How you want to sell your finished products. 
  • Your funding source 
  • Your financial projections and the leases, permits, and other important documentation. 

Ideally, a business plan is a proof to you and others whether your business is worth giving a try. So you should be careful and patient when creating your business plan. 

Here are a few helpful tips to creating an effective business plan: 

Talk About What Makes Your Business Stand Out 

Before you start creating a plan for your green waste recycling business, think about what makes your business stand out. Find out what differentiates you from other green waste recycling business owners out there. 

  • Do you plan to focus on a particular waste recycling aspect?
  • Do you strictly use environmentally friendly raw materials? 
  • Do you plan to dedicate a certain percentage of your profit to charity? 

Keep in mind that not only are you selling a service, you’re also selling value and brand experience. Take time to reflect on these questions and provide an honest answer before you delve into the real deal – researching your business plan.  

Keep It Concise And Short

Unlike before when business plans were long epistles, today, they are shorter and more concise. While you might be tempted to pen down all of your industry research and outline all of your strategies, that wouldn’t make a great business plan format. Your business plan should be short, easy to skim, and straight to the point.  

Bonus tip -Always update when necessary 

Remember that your business plan is a living document. You can always update them as business conditions change. For instance, you can make changes to the document when you want to source a new fund.  

Step 2 – Find Out How Much Money it Will Take To Start The Business

The startup cost for the green waste recycling business can vary and partially depends on location. However, the cost are expensive lately, especially with the recent drop in prices of commodities. 

Startup costs were formally low and easy to access. Today, these costs have jumped to the high side of the spectrum; however, it’s still not comparably expensive to the start-up cost of other businesses like financial services (the required quality of staff is different) 

Besides, the level of investment varies and might solely depend on your level of focus, i.e, you might want a storage or workshop space, processing machinery, skilled staff, sufficient vehicles. 

Here’s a little rundown of the basic startup cost. Keep in mind that cost varies with location and personal preference. 

However, you can always shop around for better deals; 

Processing facilities – Around $1500 per month 

Drop-offs – Around $1000 per unit

The staff of up to 5 at $10/hour (around $2000/ week ) 

Equipment –  Between $5000 – $10,000


Overall, we’re looking at an investment of between $20,000-$30,000 range in the first month for a smooth-running green waste recycling business. 

It can be a little expensive. That’s why you need a backer. One of the most trusted backers is the government. 

Government loans offer a low-interest rate that you may give a try since your business offers considerable benefit to the residence and its environment. 

Step 3 – Find Out Your Ideal Customers

The big question is: who are your customers? It’s important to know more about your customers because the more you do, the better your business can be.  

The following tips can help you find your ideal customers easily; 

Identify Their Characteristics

Who’s likely to use your recycling business service? Start by grouping them by data. You may need information like: 

  • Gender 
  • Age 
  • Income 
  • Race 
  • Occupation (If it’s B2C-based) 
  • Location 

Since we’re likely to sell to other businesses, you might want to consider:  

  • Industry 
  • Business years 
  • Budget 
  • Pain points

Check out some categories of people and businesses that may qualify to be your ideal customers: 

  • A small business that sells recycled products like notebooks, papers, and even furniture made with recycled products.
  • Offices or organizations that use recycled materials like staples, files, pens, and clips.  
  •  Distribution companies that sell to other large businesses like chain stores and shopping centers. 
  • High school, college, Universities can also buy notebooks, office seats, or bins made out of recycled materials. 
  • Public organizations like government ministries and agencies regularly create awareness of the environment.  
  • Product manufacturing business or those who solely manufacture recycled materials 
  • A business workshop that crafts objects with recycled material.   

Partnership, sole proprietorship, corporation, and limited liability companies are the most popular types of business structures. 

Creating an established legal business entity like the LLC prevents you from being personally liable in case your business is sued. 

Establishing an LLC is in two ways: you can create the LLC yourself or just use the service of an LLC agency at an additional cost. 

You can use the service of a registered agent. Most LLC packages often include one year of agent service. It all comes down to your choice: hire an agent or do it yourself. 

Green Waste Recycling Business

Step 5 – Register For Tax

You need to register for your tax, both federal and state before you can legally open your business. 

But, first off, you must apply for an EIN. It is super easy and comes at no extra cost! 

Browse through the IRS website to get your EIN at no cost. It’d be delivered via mail or fax. 

Depending on your waste recycling business structure, your tax options might be customized accordingly. 

Certain state taxes might apply to your business. So keep that in mind. 

Step 6 – Choose A Business Name

Choosing the perfect name for your green waste recycling business is important. And can be a little challenging. If you’re stuck on what to name your business, you can search for a business name generator online. You can get a pool of ideas from these sources. 

If your business structure is the sole proprietorship, it’s best to choose a business name rather than your own name. 

It’s important to research your business name. You can check: 

  • Your locality’s business record 
  • Trademark records 
  • Social media outlets
  • Availability on web 

 Try to acquire your domain name before it’s taken. 

Once you register a domain name, I’ll recommend getting a business email account ( 

Step 7 – Create A Bank Account 

You need a dedicated business bank account to make your recycling business look more professional. 

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is also essential for personal asset protection.

When you mix your personal and business account, you might be putting your assets at greater risk if your business is sued. 

In addition, having a bank account also smoothens the tax filing and accounting process. 

Also Get a business license. You’re susceptible to unnecessary heavy fines if you don’t get the necessary permit for your business. 

Step 8 – Apply For a Business Insurance

Just like a business license, you need to get insurance for your business to operate legally and safely. Business insurance got you covered in case of financial wreckage or an unexpected loss. There are different business insurance types created for different kind of risk (as you know, business risks differ). 

Since you’re just starting and might likely be lost on the type of potential risk your business might face, just opt for general liability insurance. This coverage is the most common among small businesses. So it’s an incredible ground to start. What’s more, you might also need worker’s compensation insurance. If you’re going to have employees, it’s best to choose the worker’s compensation coverage. 

Step 9 – Discover Your Brand

 Your Brand is your company reputation, and how the public perceives your business. A strong brand makes your business stand out among the rest. 

If you’re not great at designing logos for your business, you can check online for how to create a business logo. Alternatively, you can hire a logo designer. 

Step 10 – Create a Brand Awareness Strategy and Corporate Identity

 It’s important to cooperate with a professional consultant to help you create a workable advertising strategy that’ll attract your target audience. Firstly, make sure your brand is flexible and easy to work with.  A dedicated PR firm in the recycling industry should handle all of your publicity strategies. 

Step 11 – Market Your Green Waste Recycling Business

While marketing a green waste recycling business is not a walk in the park, we can assure you that the process is not difficult. Many businesses now use Google as their primary advertisement source. Many businesses got their clients through Google local search because local businesses are curated in Google’s local search. 

Keep existing customers coming back 

Green waste recycling businesses that take the lead are always on top of their games in terms of dedication and maintaining reputation. You need to think about new ideas and innovations that can help you stand out in your locality. 

Step 12 – Get a website 

Once you’ve sorted out your branding and created a catchy logo. What’s next? Get a business website. 

Although creating a website is a big business step, many business owners doubt their ability to handle the process since they have no web-building experience. 

 While a website may not have been a priority a decade ago, web technology has advanced sporadically in the past year, making life a lot easier for startups and small businesses. 

Every reputable business has a website. When it comes to owning a website, the size of a business does not matter. Your business page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn can never replace a website. Web builders have streamlined and eased the website design process. 

Beginners can take advantage of the extremely simple and easy-to-navigate platforms like the GoDaddy Website Builder. You don’t need a web developer or a designer to create a website that you’ll fall in love with. 

Recommended: you can also try web builders like Weebly, Wix, WordPress, Shopify, etc. 


Is the green waste business profitable? 

Processing any item at a recycling facility can cost about $75 per ton. The average cost of recycled paper, aluminum, cardboard, and plastics is far beyond the processing cost which makes it profitable. 

How can you boost your profit?

 To boost your overall profit in the recycling business, you need to offer a unique service and regularly ask for referrals from happy customers.  However, you can also try to specialize in an aspect of the business rather than just being a generalist. Always keep that in mind! 

Bottom Line

The green waste recycling industry provides an opportunity for anyone passionate about starting a business with decent investment. 

Starting a green recycling business can be a little complicated. Many factors need to be put into consideration – from creating business plan to setting up a website. We hope these tips help.

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