How to start a Waste Recycling Business In Nigeria: How do we benefit from it?

In Nigeria, just like in many other places, there’s a growing concern about what to do with all the waste we produce. Our trash bins can fill up fast, from plastic bottles to old newspapers and food scraps. But there’s a brighter side to this story – recycling.

Waste recycling in Nigeria is like a vital puzzle piece in the big picture of environmental protection and economic growth. It’s all about turning what we often see as “trash” into valuable resources.

Recycling isn’t just about cleaning up our surroundings or our environments, it goes deeper than that. When we recycle, we reduce the amount of waste in landfills, which can harm the earth. Recycling also saves energy and conserves natural resources, like trees and minerals.

But it’s not just about being kind to our planet; recycling also makes economic sense as well. It creates job opportunities, boosts local industries, and can even generate revenue. Yeah! That’s right; those old newspapers and bottles can turn into new products that people would want to buy.

So, as we go deeper into the world of waste recycling in Nigeria, We will see how this practice is not just good for the environment but also a smart way to improve the economy.

What is Recycling Business?

To make this very straightforward, I will use an example that will better connect better for you.

Imagine giving a new life to things we normally dispose of as trash—like old newspapers, plastic bottles, or even electronic gadgets. So, in one phrase is means Turning Trash into Valuable items.

Recycling is subdivided down into these easy process

  1. Collection: First, recyclable materials are collected from homes, businesses, and communities. This can include things like paper, glass, metal, and plastics.
  2. Sorting: Next, these materials are sorted into different categories to make sure they’re clean and ready for recycling.
  3. Processing: After sorting, the materials are processed or turned into raw materials that companies can use to make new products.
  4. Manufacturing: Companies then use these recycled materials to create new things like recycled paper, bottles, or even clothing.
  5. Sale: Finally, these new products are sold in stores, and people like you and me can buy them.

In recycling business, people collect, sort, and process materials that we usually consider as waste.

Instead of letting these materials end up in landfills or polluting our environment, recycling businesses work their magic to transform them into valuable resources.

Here is Why this is very Matters: Recycling businesses are like hardworking house help or a cleaner for our planet. They help reduce pollution, save energy, and conserve natural resources. Plus, they create job opportunities and boost our economic standard.

So, when you hear about the recycling business, remember that it’s not just about saving the environment; it’s also about turning trash into treasure and making our world a better place, one recycled item at a time.

Also Read – Why is my waste management pickup delayed this week?

15 Steps to Start a Waste Recycling Business In Nigeria?

Just like every other business, starting a recycling business in Nigeria can be a challenging adventure. With these steps, it will be easier for you to scale through;

Research and Learning:

It is very important for any good business startup, who want to be successful will need to dedicate time to learn more about a particular business before venturing into it. Think of this step as the foundation for your recycling business.

It’s like studying ahead of a big test or preparing for a journey.

Here’s what it means in simple terms:

1. Study Recycling: Before you start a recycling business, it’s crucial to learn all about recycling. That means understanding what recycling is and how it works. It’s like becoming an expert in recycling Business.

2. Know the Materials: Recycling involves different types of materials like paper, plastic, glass, and metals. You’ll need to learn about these materials – what they are, how they can be recycled, and why it’s essential in recycling them.

3. The Recycling Process: Recycling isn’t just about tossing things into a bin. It involves steps like collecting, sorting, cleaning, and processing materials to make them ready for recycling. You’ll need to understand each of these steps.

4. Environmental Impact: Recycling is good for the environment because it reduces pollution and saves resources. Learning about the environmental benefits of recycling will help you see why it’s important.

5. Keep Learning: The world of recycling is always changing. New methods and technologies are developed all the time. So, it’s essential to keep learning and staying updated on the latest recycling trends.

There is NO END to learning, gathering clues and information about recycling. The more you know, the better you can run your recycling business in Nigeria and help protect our environment.

Here is A Comprehensive Guide to E-Waste Recycling a guide that can be a great help in starting a collection of knowledge and insight into the recycling Business.

Have a Business Plan

A business plan is likened to a guidebook or a map that shows you the right way to follow in your recycling business journey. Let’s break it down in more easier way:

1. Your Road Map: Imagine you’re planning a big adventure, like a treasure hunt. Before you start, you need a map to know where you’re going and how to get there. That’s what a business plan is for your recycling business.

2. Setting Goals: In your plan, you’ll decide what you want to achieve with your recycling business. Maybe you want to recycle lots of paper, plastics, or electronics. Setting clear goals helps you stay focused.

3. Choosing Materials: Think of materials like the tools you’ll need for your adventure. You’ll decide which materials you want to collect and recycle. It could be things like cans, glass, or cardboard.

4. How to Do It: Your plan will explain how you’ll collect these materials. Will you have collection bins around town, work with local businesses, or pick up recyclables from people’s homes?

5. Processing: Once you collect the materials, you’ll need a plan for what to do with them. How will you clean, sort, and prepare the materials for recycling? It’s like getting your treasure ready to be used again.

6. Budget and Money: Just like you need money for your adventure, your business plan will include a budget. You’ll figure out how much you’ll need to start and run your recycling business.

7. Teamwork: If you need help on your adventure, you’ll bring along friends. In your plan, you might decide if you need employees or partners to help with collecting and processing recyclables.

8. Making It Happen: Your business plan isn’t just a list of ideas. It’s your action plan. It tells you what steps to take and when to take them to make your recycling business a success.

A good business plan will give you a better edge to getting started with a new business like recycling business in Nigeria.

Legal Stuff

Imagine you’re starting a club or a team. Before you can play, you need to follow certain rules and get permission. Starting a recycling business is a bit like that. Here’s what “Legal Stuff” means:

1. Register Your Business: Think of this like giving your club a name. You need to tell the government that you’re starting a recycling business and what you’ll call it. This is called registering your business.

2. Follow the Rules: Just like in a game, there are rules to follow. When you’re running a recycling business, you need to follow local laws and regulations. These rules are like the guidelines for how you should play the recycling game.

3. Get Permits: Think of permits like permission slips. Depending on where you live, you might need special permits to operate your recycling business. It’s like getting permission from a teacher to go on a field trip.

4. Do It Right: Recycling is essential for the environment, so it’s a serious business. You want to make sure you do it correctly and follow all the rules to protect the environment and people’s health.

5. Responsible Recycling: Being legal and following the rules means you’re being a responsible recycler. It’s like playing a fair and honest game. You’re doing your part to help the environment and your community.

Getting all this is more like standing your ground for better performance with so much backing.

Find Your Niche

Think of finding your niche like choosing your favorite game to play. It’s about picking what you love and what you’re best at. In the recycling business, this means deciding what kinds of materials you want to work with. Here’s how it works:

1. Specializing: Imagine you’re really good at playing a particular sport, like soccer or basketball. That’s your specialty. When you find your niche in recycling, you’re choosing a specific material, like electronics, metals, paper, or plastics, to focus on.

2. Becoming an Expert: When you specialize, you become like an expert in that material. You’ll learn everything about how to collect, sort, and recycle it. It’s like knowing all the tricks and rules of your favorite game.

3. Variety or Focus: Some recycling businesses like to handle a little bit of everything, like a buffet with many different foods. Others prefer to concentrate on one material, like a restaurant known for its fantastic pizza. You decide which path suits you.

4. What You Enjoy: Finding your niche is also about doing what you enjoy. If you love electronics, you might specialize in recycling old gadgets. If you’re into art, you could focus on recycling paper for crafting.

5. Meeting Needs: Consider what materials are in demand in your area. If there’s a lot of plastic waste but not many recyclers, specializing in plastics might be a smart move.

Choosing your niche makes it easier to dominate it, become an expert, and enjoy your recycling adventure.

Collection System

Think of a collection system like setting up a way to gather treasures for your recycling adventure. It’s how you collect all the recyclables, like paper, plastic, and cans, before turning them into something valuable. Here’s how it works:

1. Gather the Treasures: Imagine you’re on a treasure hunt, and you need to collect shiny coins and colorful gems. In recycling, these treasures are recyclable materials like newspapers, bottles, or old electronics.

2. Drop-off Points: One way to collect recyclables is to set up drop-off points. It’s like having special spots in your town where people can bring their recyclables and leave them for you to pick up later.

3. Work with Local Businesses: Think of this like partnering with your friends in the treasure hunt. You can team up with local businesses and ask them to save recyclables for you. It’s a win-win – they get to help the environment, and you get more materials.

4. Curbside Pickup: Curbside pickup is like a recycling superhero coming to your doorstep. You can offer this service, where you visit people’s homes to collect their recyclables. It’s super convenient for them.

5. Be Reliable: Just like in a treasure hunt, you need to be reliable. Make a schedule for collecting recyclables and stick to it. People need to know when to expect you.

6. Treasure Map: Think of your collection system as your treasure map. It tells you where to go and how to find all those valuable recyclables.

By setting up a collection system, you’re making it easy for people to recycle and helping the environment. It’s like gathering treasures and turning them into something amazing for everyone to enjoy.

Sorting and Processing

Imagine you’ve gathered a big pile of treasures, like colorful beads and shiny coins, from your treasure hunt. Now, you need to clean them, organize them, and get them ready to use. That’s what sorting and processing means in recycling. Let’s break it down:

1. Your Treasures: The treasures in recycling are materials like paper, plastic, and metal. They might be a bit dirty or mixed up when you collect them.

2. Cleaning Up: Just like you’d wash your treasures, recycling materials need to be cleaned. This step removes any dirt or contaminants.

3. Sorting: Imagine you have different kinds of beads – red, blue, and green. You’d want to sort them into separate piles to make pretty jewelry. In recycling, this means separating materials like glass from plastic.

4. Equipment: To do all this, you’ll need special tools, like conveyor belts to move materials around, shredders to break things into smaller pieces, and balers to compact materials into neat bundles.

5. Scale Matters: Depending on how much recycling you’re handling, you might need different equipment. If you’re dealing with a small amount, you won’t need as much as a big recycling center.

6. Recycling Magic: Think of sorting and processing as the magic part of recycling. It’s where the messy, mixed-up materials become clean, organized, and ready to be turned into something new.

Remember, just like sorting your treasures makes them more valuable and beautiful, sorting and processing recycling materials make them useful and ready to become new products. It’s like turning old stuff into something fresh and exciting.

Marketing and Outreach

Imagine you’re throwing a big party, and you want everyone to come and have a great time. Marketing and outreach in recycling is a bit like that – you’re inviting people to join in and be part of the recycling adventure. Let’s see how it works:

1. Spreading the Word: Imagine you have some fantastic treasure maps, and you want to tell your friends about them. In recycling, your “treasure map” is your recycling business. Marketing is all about telling people about it.

2. Get Social: Just like you’d share your party plans with friends on social media, you can use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let people know about your recycling business. You can post pictures, stories, and updates.

3. Local Ads: Think of local ads as invitations you send out to people nearby. You can use newspapers, flyers, or even radio ads to tell your community about your recycling services.

4. Community Events: Hosting events is like throwing a recycling party. You can organize clean-up days, workshops, or educational sessions about recycling. It’s a fun way to get people excited about recycling.

5. Why It’s Important: When you do marketing and outreach, you’re not just telling people about your business. You’re also teaching them why recycling is important for the environment and how they can be a part of it.

6. Building a Recycling Community: By spreading the word and inviting people to join in, you’re creating a recycling community. It’s like having a big group of friends who all care about the environment.

So, marketing and outreach are like sending out invitations to the recycling party. You want everyone to know about it and join in the fun. It’s a way to make recycling exciting and get more people involved in protecting our planet.

Build Partnerships

Imagine you’re on a treasure hunt, and you decide to team up with other explorers. Building partnerships in recycling is a bit like that – you’re joining forces with local businesses and organizations to make your recycling adventure even more successful. Here’s how it works:

1. Teamwork: Think of building partnerships as forming a team. You and the local businesses or organizations work together towards a common goal – making recycling better.

2. Sharing Resources: Just like your treasure-hunting team might share maps and tools, in partnerships, you can share resources. Local businesses might provide you with recyclables, like cardboard or paper, which you can use for recycling.

3. Support: Partnerships can also mean getting support. Other businesses or organizations might help fund your recycling efforts or provide you with equipment you need.

4. Expanding Reach: When you team up, you reach more people. Businesses and organizations often have their networks and customers, so by working together, you can spread the word about recycling to a broader audience.

5. Mutual Benefits: Partnerships are a win-win. You get the materials or support you need for recycling, and the businesses and organizations get to contribute to a cleaner environment.

6. Community Impact: Building partnerships isn’t just about business. It’s also about making a positive impact on your community. Together, you can create a more sustainable and eco-friendly place to live.

So, just like adventurers form teams to find treasures more effectively, building partnerships in recycling is about teaming up to make recycling efforts stronger and more successful. It’s a way to work together for a greener and cleaner world.


Think of staffing like inviting friends to help you with your recycling adventure. It’s about having a team of people who work together to make your recycling business run smoothly. Here’s how it works:

1. Your Recycling Team: Just like in a sports team, you need players with different roles to win the game. In your recycling business, staffing means having people who help with different tasks.

2. Collecting Materials: Some team members can be in charge of collecting recyclables. They might pick up materials from homes, businesses, or drop-off points.

3. Sorting and Processing: Others can handle the sorting and processing of recyclables, like cleaning and getting materials ready for recycling.

4. Size Matters: Depending on how big your recycling business is, you might need more or fewer team members. A small business might only need a few people, while a larger one might need a whole crew.

5. Training: Just like in a sports team, your recycling team needs to know the rules and techniques. You’ll provide training to make sure everyone knows how to handle recyclables properly.

6. Working Together: Teamwork is essential. Your recycling team needs to communicate and collaborate to get the job done efficiently.

7. Making a Difference: By having a dedicated team, you can collect, sort, and process recyclables more effectively, which means making a bigger positive impact on the environment.

So, think of staffing as assembling your recycling dream team. With the right people in the right positions, you can tackle recycling challenges together and make your business a success. It’s like having teammates to help you score big in the recycling game.

Environmental Impact

Think of the environment as our planet’s home, and imagine you’re the caretaker. In the world of recycling, your job isn’t just about making money; it’s also about taking care of our home. Here’s what “environmental impact” means:

1. Planet’s Health: Just like you want your home to be clean and safe, we want the Earth to be healthy and beautiful. Recycling plays a big role in this because it reduces pollution and helps keep our planet clean.

2. Protecting Nature: Recycling is like a shield that protects our environment from harm. It prevents things like plastic bottles and old electronics from polluting our land, air, and water.

3. Saving Resources: Our planet has limited resources, like trees and metals. Recycling is like using these resources wisely and not wasting them. It’s like reusing toys instead of throwing them away.

4. Communicating Your Mission: Imagine you’re telling a story about your adventures to your friends. In recycling, you need to share your mission with the public. Let them know that you’re working to protect our home, the Earth.

5. Inspiring Others: When people see you caring for the environment, it inspires them to do the same. You become a role model, showing others how to be kind to the planet.

6. A Bigger Purpose: So, remember that recycling isn’t just a business; it’s a mission to protect the environment. It’s like being a superhero for our planet, making sure it stays a healthy and happy home for everyone.

By communicating your eco-friendly mission, you’re inviting others to join in and be superheroes for the environment too. It’s like saying, “Let’s work together to make our planet the best home it can be!”

Equipment and Facilities

Imagine you’re a chef in a big kitchen, and you need the right tools and a good kitchen to cook delicious meals. In recycling, having the right equipment and facilities is just as important. Let’s break it down:

1. The Right Tools: Think of equipment as the special tools you need for recycling. It’s like having a chef’s knife or a mixing bowl, but in recycling, you might have things like conveyor belts, shredders, or balers. These tools help you do your job effectively.

2. Handling Materials: Imagine you’re a builder, and you need a workshop to build things. In recycling, you need facilities or places where you can sort, clean, and store recyclables. It’s like having a workspace for recycling.

3. Efficient Work: Having the right equipment and facilities makes your work smoother and more efficient. It’s like having a well-organized kitchen where you can cook meals quickly and without wasting ingredients.

4. Size Matters: Depending on how big your recycling business is, you might need different types and sizes of equipment and facilities. A small operation won’t need as much as a large recycling center.

5. Protecting Materials: Facilities also provide a safe and clean space to store recyclables before they’re processed. This helps keep the materials in good condition and ready for recycling.

6. Quality Matters: Just like a chef wants the best quality ingredients, you need quality equipment and facilities to do a great job in recycling.

So, think of equipment and facilities as the chef’s kitchen for your recycling business. With the right tools and workspace, you can cook up a successful recycling operation, turning old materials into something valuable and eco-friendly.

Financial Plan

Think of a financial plan as a blueprint for managing your money wisely. Just like when you plan a big trip or adventure, you need to figure out how much you’ll spend, where your money will come from, and where it will go. In the world of recycling, a financial plan is crucial. Here’s what it means:

1. Money Management: Imagine you’re saving up for a cool gadget or a fun vacation. You need to plan how much money you’ll need, how you’ll save it, and how you’ll spend it wisely. That’s what a financial plan is all about for your recycling business.

2. Costs and Expenses: In recycling, you have costs like buying equipment, paying your team, and covering transportation expenses. Your financial plan helps you figure out how much money you need for these things.

3. Income: Just like you have a job or get allowances, your recycling business will earn money. You need to plan how you’ll make money, whether it’s from selling recyclables or through other means.

4. Creating a Budget: A budget is like a spending plan. It’s a list that shows how much money you expect to receive and how you’ll use it. You’ll allocate funds for equipment, paying your team, and other necessary expenses.

5. Avoiding Money Problems: With a financial plan, you can avoid running out of money or overspending. It’s like making sure you have enough money for your adventure without getting stuck in a financial jam.

6. Smart Choices: Your financial plan helps you make smart choices about where to invest your money to grow your recycling business. It’s like deciding where to explore on your adventure to find the most treasures.

So, think of a financial plan as your treasure map for managing your money in your recycling journey. With a well-thought-out plan, you can navigate the financial side of your business and make sure it’s a successful and sustainable adventure.

Start Small:

Imagine you’re planting a garden, and you begin with just a few seeds. Starting small means taking small steps and not trying to do everything at once. In recycling, this is a wise approach. Here’s what it means:

1. Begin with a Few Seeds: Just like a tiny plant grows from a single seed, your recycling business can start with a small idea. You don’t need to do everything on a grand scale right away.

2. Learn and Adapt: When you start small, you have a chance to learn and figure things out without overwhelming yourself. It’s like trying out a new game on the easy level before tackling the hard challenges.

3. Less Risk: Starting small means you’re taking fewer risks with your time and money. It’s like dipping your toes into the water before diving into the deep end of the pool.

4. Grow Gradually: As your recycling business grows and you become more confident, you can slowly expand. It’s like adding more plants to your garden as you become a more experienced gardener.

5. Test and Improve: By starting small, you can test your ideas and make improvements along the way. It’s like practicing a musical instrument and getting better with each lesson.

6. Achievable Goals: When you set achievable goals at the beginning, you’re more likely to succeed. It’s like climbing a mountain one step at a time instead of trying to reach the summit in a single leap.

Starting small in recycling is like planting a tiny seed. With care and patience, it can grow into something big and beautiful. So, don’t rush, take small steps, and watch your recycling business bloom and flourish over time.

Adapt and Innovate

Imagine you’re on a journey, and the path keeps changing. To reach your destination, you need to be flexible and find new ways to get there. In recycling, being open to change and innovation is essential. Here’s what it means:

1. Embrace Change: Just like you adapt your plans when the weather changes during your journey, in recycling, you should be ready to adapt to new ideas and technologies that come along.

2. Stay Updated: Imagine you’re reading the latest news to know what’s happening in the world. In recycling, it’s essential to stay updated on new methods, tools, and practices that can make your business better.

3. Try New Things: Being open to innovation means trying out new ways of doing things. It’s like experimenting with a new recipe or a different route during your journey to see if it’s better.

4. Thrive and Grow: When you adapt and innovate, you’re not just surviving; you’re thriving. It’s like not just making it to your destination but discovering new and exciting places along the way.

5. Competitive Edge: Innovation can give your recycling business an edge. It’s like having a special skill or a unique treasure that sets you apart from others in the recycling world.

6. Problem Solving: When you encounter challenges, being open to innovation helps you find solutions. It’s like figuring out how to navigate through unexpected roadblocks during your journey.

So, adapt and innovate in recycling is like being a smart traveler who adjusts to changes in the journey and keeps finding exciting new paths to success. It’s about being flexible, curious, and open to new ideas to make your recycling business even better.


Think of persistence as the determination to keep going, even when things get tough. Recycling, like any journey, has its highs and lows, but staying persistent means not giving up, no matter what. Here’s what it means:

1. Never Give Up: Imagine you’re climbing a mountain, and it’s really steep. Persistence means not turning back or giving in, even when the path is hard.

2. Challenges Happen: Just like in a video game where you face tough levels, recycling can have challenges. It might be difficult to find materials or face setbacks. But being persistent means you keep trying.

3. Learn from Setbacks: When you encounter obstacles, being persistent means you don’t see them as failures. Instead, you learn from them and use that knowledge to move forward.

4. Achieve Your Goals: Persistence is like having a goal in mind and doing everything you can to reach it. It’s the determination to see your recycling efforts through to success.

5. Stay Motivated: Recycling can be rewarding, but it can also be hard work. Staying persistent means finding ways to stay motivated and keep going, even when you face challenges.

6. Make a Difference: When you’re persistent in recycling, you’re making a positive impact on the environment and your community. It’s like being a hero who never stops fighting for a better world.

So, in recycling, persistence is your superpower. It’s what keeps you going, even when the journey gets tough. It’s the determination to make the world a cleaner and healthier place, one recyclable at a time.

In a nutshell,

Starting a recycling business in Nigeria is never an easy quest. It’s a noble endeavor that not only benefits the environment but also enriches our community. Throughout this business journey in recycling, keep in mind that every piece of material you recycle is a step towards a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable world.

Just as a single drop can create ripples in a pond, your recycling efforts can have a far-reaching impact. Each can, bottle or piece of paper you divert from the landfill is a small but vital contribution to reducing waste and preserving our precious resources.

So, as you navigate the challenges and triumphs of your recycling venture, remember that you are making a difference. Your dedication, persistence, and commitment to recycling are helping to build a brighter and more environmentally friendly future for all. Keep up the fantastic work, and let your recycling business journey inspire others to join you on the path to a cleaner, greener world.

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