How to Start a Waste Management Business

In the famous HBO drama series The Sopranos, wealthy mafia boss Tony Soprano is frequently questioned how he actually makes his money. His response: “I’m in the waste management business.” There are a couple of reasons for this alibi—firstly, waste management is a legal, respectable, and vital service for society. Secondly, waste management can be extremely lucrative, which would explain his lavish lifestyle. Although TV history would be very different (and probably less dramatic) if he were telling the truth, the fact is that the waste management industry could well have been just as financially profitable as the mob!

Starting your own waste management business can be an excellent business move. With more and more waste being produced by individuals, households, and businesses across the world every year, the demand for waste management is extremely unlikely to disappear. Talk about a recession-proof gig! On top of this, the importance of recycling for the environment is more and more evident as time goes by. Although households and businesses are urged to separate recyclable and non-recyclable waste, a lot of the task is often left to the professionals. 

So, how can you start your own waste management business and take advantage of this lucrative opportunity?

Identify Your Niche in the Industry

Waste management is a broad field. While residential waste collection and disposal is usually taken care of by local governments, there are many other opportunities for entrepreneurs in the private sector to get involved. There are various different types of waste management, such as medical waste management, electrical waste management, construction waste management, industrial waste management, green waste management, chemical waste management, toxic waste disposal, nuclear waste disposal, and many more. When choosing your niche, consider the skills and knowledge you have, the equipment available to you, and what your target market is.

Identify Your Upfront Costs and Overheads

Waste management is a lucrative industry, but it can often be expensive to start a waste management business. The costs of transportation vehicles, business insurance, and equipment can price many smaller investors out of the field. However, there are ways that you can reduce these costs to make your business model viable. 

When it comes to equipment, brand-new appliances can be much more expensive than used ones yet offer little to no advantage over used equipment that is in good condition. From baler recycling equipment to industrial shredders, used waste management equipment can usually be found online for reasonable prices.

Carry Out Market Research

To find your target market, you can carry out market research in order to identify any potential gaps in the market. An effective market research plan includes identifying potential competitors, establishing pricing, and ascertaining the locations of suppliers and customers. 

Hire the Right Employees

A business is only as efficient as its staff. When it comes to hiring the right people for the job, make sure that you specify exactly what kind of skills are needed for each role, and make sure that all employees can work as a team.

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