The critical activity of any business is marketing, and the case of a recycling business is no different. A recycling business remains unviable if there are no takers for the recycled products.
One concern of entrepreneurs looking at starting a recycling business, is to understand the use of the recycled product. For instance, old tires find use as an energy resource to burn in cement kilns and electric utilities, in civil engineering uses such as building embankments, drainage layers, retaining walls and breakwaters, and in rubber-modified asphalt. The task of the recycling business is to match end-user specifications to the processing capability. Understanding the end-user market is critical, for the market for recycled goods very often depends on the market of virgin stocks.
For selling, consider the national, regional and local markets of the products, and develop a good network to sell recycled products. A good starting point to identify buyers is the many industry and trade journals that provide buyer lists.
The recycling entrepreneur can increase business by
- Performing competitor analysis, to benchmark and spot vulnerabilities.
- Creating new markets by raising awareness. Performing free waste audit in companies is a step in this direction.
- Undertaking promotional activities such as advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, publicity, and public relations.
The mix depends on factors such as available funds, competition, and the stage of your business life cycle.
Recycling markets remain volatile, owing to price and demand-supply fluctuations. You also need to bear in mind prices of virgin materials such as price for recycled plastics being directly dependent on price for virgin plastic, legislative initiatives that may make recycling mandatory, social and other pressure to conserve the environment that may make more people recycle, and technical innovations.