Starting a Recycling Business with Minimum Investment

The waste and recycling industry offers unlimited opportunities for someone looking to start a small business with very little investment. The idea is very simple; you need to find one or more waste materials that are being discarded but can easily be reused or recycled. But you need to exercise some caution in identifying a small niche that already competitively served by larger recyclers. Here are some brief overviews of recycling business ideas that can be started with minimum investment.

1
Be a Recyclables Collector by Placing Recycling Bins

Rick LeBlanc, licensed to About.com

If you think the number of recycling bins in your locality is insufficient or there are no such bins placed, you can buy some recycling bins or make a few and put them in the commercial and residential areas. One example of such an approach is that of Ripple Glass.

Make sure you clearly identify the items that can be put into the bins. Your main focus should be to collect scrap metals, scrap electronics, scrap plastics, used textiles, paper etc. Yes, you have to pick a good name for your business and try to promote that you will ensure the items will be systematically reused and recycled. Encourage people in your locality to put the recyclables in your bins than simply discarding or throwing away as waste. You can pick the recyclables from the bins as needed, sort material, and when you have a bulk amount, sell them to scrap yard or larger recyclers. But make sure you take permission from local authorities or property owners before placing bins. Unauthorized bin placement can cause ill will that may paint your company in a negative light. 

2
Buy Used Items from Yard Sales and Sell

David Sacks, Getty Images

This idea is good for someone with very little investment capital. The idea is simple; you need to have a good idea of selling used and old items. And for that, you need to look around and find a couple or more possible places to sell items. When you know what can be sold in which prices, you can start searching for yard sales in your locality and nearby localities. Any number of valuable items might be severely underpriced by homeowners, ranging from collectable art, antiques, scrap metal, retro fashions or furniture, old audio equipment or more.   No particular investment is necessary other than just having enough money to buy and transport used items. Become familiar with market value in a number of categories.

3
Toner Cartridge Recycling from Home

This can be a very good part-time business for someone with plenty of spare time, with a start-up cost as little as $2,000. Toner or Ink cartridges used in printers, fax machines and photocopiers can easily be recycled by just replenishing the ink supply, and provide the opportunity for a small scale business. All you need to have is toner ink refilling skills, necessary tools to do the job and transportation facilities. You can have a great competitive advantage over regular brand new toner cartridge retailers because you can offer the customers with almost half the price of new toner cartridges.

4
Scrap Metal Collector

If you are looking to start a small business, you can find plenty of options focusing only on scrap metal collection and sales. The start-up cost can start from as low as $2,000 and you can gradually expand your business as well. Check out this article on scrap metal collecting for the basics. Basically, you will need a pickup truck or utility trailer, net and tie-downs, as well as basic tools and personal protective equipment such as gloves and safety shoes. Scrap metal can be picked up from homeowners, renovation projects and other sources. 

More Low Investment Recycling Business Ideas to Folow

More low investment recycling business ideas follow in Part 2.