Individual recycling is one of the simplest ways to contribute to efforts to fight climate change worldwide.
However, starting a recycling business would undoubtedly make a far more significant difference in improving these efforts.
Even smaller cities feel the benefits of recycling as a community, unitedly keeping public areas free from garbage and pests, and reducing waste thrown into landfills.
The recycling of waste also decreases any fees associated with the disposal of waste from people in your community.
Unfortunately, getting cities and people to participate in recycling programs can be quite a challenge.
(Stay with me until the end and we will list 10 tips for your to get your community involved)
Statistics About Recycling Or Lack Of
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the country generates in 2018 was 292.4 million tons (U.S. short tons, unless specified) or 4.9 pounds per person per day.
Of that waste generated, approximately 69 million tons were recycled and 25 million tons were composted. (source)
Only 69 million tons of all municipal solid waste was recycled that year.
While some local governments prioritize handling and recycling waste, other cities and communities still need a forceful nudge in the right direction.
Luckily, there are a few measures that you can do to get citizens’ participation in your recycling company endeavor.
We will list these after we solve your immediate steps of starting your new recycling company.
Step #1 Before Starting – Research
Depending on what exactly you want your company to process will ultimately determine how much your business will cost to get started.
Different equipment for recycling different materials costs may vary greatly so knowing this in advance will help you be more successful.
Not only do you have to think about the equipment and price of it you have to worry about potential competition in your area.
Tip: If you have a lot of competition check for areas they do no offer services in. That might be an easy way to get into the business quick.
A great resource you have at your disposal is the EPA.
They have tons of resources about recycling and how to’s on their website below.
Common Equipment Needed To Get Started
- Bag Openers
- Bag openers serve the function implied by the name.
- They efficiently open waste bags, and in many cases even bags within a bag, with an efficiency rate of up to 98 percent.
- Bag openers leave the bag contents intact for further processing.
- This type of machinery often uses magnets to separate metal parts from other types of waste.
- They can also include other features such as liquid traps, filters, and more.
- Shredders and Chippers
- This equipment is imperative in the compacting process of materials.
- Chippers are ideal for wood and organic products. Shredders of various types and specifications are also available for paper products and electronic waste.
- Crushers are an important tool for reducing the size of materials such as plastic, cans, and glass.
- Compact output facilitates the efficiency of subsequent recycling processes.
- • Baling presses
- Each type of material requires a certain type of baling press to fashion the material into a neat, compact bale that can be maneuvered with ease.
- Some balers, like those used in the processing of household waste, are designed to handle both wet and dry products.
- Others, for example, those handling paper or difficult materials such as plastic, offer a choice of press methodologies to ensure speed, efficiency, and reliability depending on the material.
- Conveyor Belts
- This type of machinery is essential in most manufacturing or processing plants, and the same is true when searching for recycling equipment.
- Depending on the facility’s needs, options include steel belt conveyors for heavy materials, cost-effective multi-purpose rubber belt conveyors, durable chain conveyors, circulation belts, and moving floor conveyors.
- Reel Splitters
- Reel splitters are cutting machines commonly used in the processing of paper products.
- The machinery is typically available as a hydraulic or mechanical model and is commonly operated in conjunction with a conveyor belt.
- A type of machinery designed to reduce paper materials to the smallest configuration possible, pulpers further diminish the size of product output.
Step #2 Figuring Out The Cost
After you have figured out what types of things you want to be able to process and the prices of the equipment you need to consider the following items.
- Your processing facility
- Drop-off boxes
- Employees if you will have any.
- Equipment needed
These key items will play a role in at least your start up cost to get going.
Remember facilities closer to town you will pay more of premium for than ones in the country.
The trade off could be cheaper start up cost with a touch more difficulty for people to drop off their recyclables.
Closer to town will be more expensive but it will give quicker access to people looking to recycle.
The city you are planning to start will vary the price across the country as well.
Step #3 Will You Make Profits
While doing this for the sheer purpose of being eco-friendly and helping the environment is a great and admirable thought you likely want to make a bit of profit for you can stay open.
After figuring steps 1 and 2 see if you are going to make a profit to keep the doors open.
Tip: You can find companies that sell refurbished or leased equipment that still works just as good as brand new.
If you can sacrifice using used equipment to get started and build up to newer equipment when you expand could be a great idea.
Step #4 – Does Your State Or Local Government Offer Assistance?
A lot of states and even some companies offer grants to get started.
Check with your local government to see if you can get assistance starting.
Do not just think about grants as far as starting your recycle business.
They also have grants and loans for the following items.
- Technical assistance.
- Low-interest loans.
- Equipment rebate programs.
- Regulatory streamlining assistance.
- Free energy audits
- Tax breaks.
Tip: Many state and local governments also offer small business assistance programs that can help with all aspects of starting up a new business, from writing an initial business plan to identifying sources of funding for your operations. (source)
Below I have linked the Environmental Research and Education Foundation grant application.
10 Tips To Encourage Your City To Begin Recycling With You
You have funding and acquired everything to get started.
You hear the machines running behind you but nothing going through them.
Below we will list 10 tips that can get you started with outreach letting your local community know you are open for business!
Tip #1 – Study The Problem In Your Area
Is recycling or lack of an issue in your community?
Do people even know it is an issue?
To create an initiative, one should first identify the problem that needs addressing.
People who want to get their city to start recycling need to assess how much waste their city generates and how effective their current waste disposal programs are.
The problem may lie not only in the collection of recyclable material but their contamination as well.
The city might also have more plastic or paper waste than wood or metal, requiring different recycling solutions.
If the city didn’t produce this kind of data, it would be wise to look at other cities of a similar size that may have already studied these problems before.
Find and collect all the information for your local area and collect it to use in the next step!
Tip 2 – Speak Out To Your Community!
Residents can get their voices heard by contacting their local newspapers or newsletters and using these platforms to get their message to the public.
While most people turn to social media and online news sites to stay in the know, local publications still hold sway in your community.
Just one article about the advantages of recycling can have a significant impact on at least one reader.
One reader leads to many more seeing your message and finding out that you offer the solution!
If the publication likes the piece, they may even ask for more articles on similar recycling topics to be released regularly – a big win for the cause!
You are now the face or recycling in your community and surrounding community.
Step 3 – Leave Recycling Bins In Convenient Public Spots
Some people choose not to recycle because it isn’t very convenient.
Take that excuse away by strategically placed recycling bins.
There probably aren’t enough recycling bins where they pass, and they’d rather not hold onto their trash until they find one.
Placing recycling bins near trash cans in heavily populated areas will make individual recycling more accessible than ever.
Most business I would dare to say would probably not have a problem with your company placing these bins close by.
Check with them before placing on other people’s property will ensure buy in from business owners.
Step 4 – Start Outreach To Schools
Schools are a great place to advocate for recycling.
Children learn about the benefits of recycling at an early age and can become agents of change within their households.
Imagine how bad a parent would fill with their kids stressing how important recycling is and why they do not recycle.
Powerful stuff right there!
Speaking at schools about environmental efforts such as recycling can influence the teachers to participate in the movement as well.
These talks don’t have to be auditorium-sized lectures with guest speakers, although that may help.
Lessons about recycling can begin in the classroom.
All this requires is permission from the school administration and again I believe they would be thrilled to have a subject expert come with creative and engaging content to share with the kids.
Step 5 – Organize A Recycling Club
There’s never only one person interested in fighting climate change in a community.
The faster people come together in the name of a cause, the earlier that cause can be pursued.
Individuals and families can meet and develop a plan to recycle together and encourage others to join them.
The club could meet regularly, schedule recycling projects throughout the year, and meet with authorities as a collective.
There truly is strength in numbers and your company can be the one that host the events!
Step 6 – Embrace Social Media
There is no better way to educate a community than through social media.
Attaching posters onto bulletin boards and writing articles in the local paperwork, but having a social media page, can record all recycling-related news in the city.
The page would have one sole purpose: to provide information on current and future recycling programs to your local community and surrounding areas.
Anyone curious about the cause or excited about starting to recycle would only have to look at your page to find out how to contact you and your company for recycling.
Step 7 – Target new residents
It might be challenging to convince longtime homeowners to begin recycling, considering they never had to do so in the many years they’ve lived in the city.
New homeowners, on the other hand, might be more open to the idea.
Providing them with explainers and additional information about the city’s recycling programs and how these efforts may benefit them, in the long run, might be all they need to start recycling.
Tip: Make flyers and ask your local utility companies to have them for people who sign up to start utilites.
Every new resident has to go to these places to get things started and your business flyer can be included for interested and potential new community members.
Step 8 – Work With Local Businesses
Commercial recycling can deal with a large chunk of a city’s waste.
Businesses can sign up for specific recycling services and even agree to limit their waste.
These programs have the best chance of succeeding when employers and employees receive education about recycling with resources to help them do so.
The workplace can install signs detailing what can and cannot be recycled.
Businesses may still be hesitant to participate in these programs but with ever growing concerns about the environment and going green I’m sure they would be glad to join in the efforts.
Step 9 – Call On The Local Government
Letters and petitions to local authorities can encourage them to launch recycling programs and require residents to participate in the initiative.
The local government also has the power to audit local business waste and require these businesses to subscribe to recycling services.
They may even provide incentives for companies; some cities give cash prizes to the businesses that produce the least trash every year, while others offer free recycling services but expensive trash services.
All these can be use to encourage your community to start recycling.
Step 10 – Think Outside The Box
If traditional methods don’t work, the city might need specialized projects to encourage residents to recycle.
There are reverse vending machines in Beijing that provide phone minutes or transportation credits in exchange for recyclables.
Implementing a reward system for recycling incentivizes the reduction of waste for personal gain, helping the environment in the process.
Any time you can make a win win for all parties involved the more likely your new change will hold!
We hope the list of things to consider in starting your new recycle company along with the 10 tips to get your community involved was helpful.
Collect all these and put an action plan together to ensure better success in your new recycling endeavours!
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