16 Highly Valued Recycling Business Ideas In 2023

Recycling Business is one of the most lucrative business ideas in the world that is still to be explored. There are several types of materials that can be recycled and put to good use. When you know the ins and outs in this business clearly, you will likely make a good profit.

Today, we will see the 16 most trending recycling business ideas throughout the world that can be started with minimum investment.

Recycling Business Ideas

#1: Paper Recycling

Paper recycling is one of the most popular recycling business ideas that can be started with low investment. It is a highly used material throughout the world, it is affordable to recycle, and has good market demand.

You can use recycled paper to make products like books, newspapers, magazines, paper bags, paper plates, tissue papers, and cardboard.

These recycled paper products can be sold at online stores, clothing stores, stationery shops, and food outlets.

#2: Recycling Clothes

Do not underestimate a waste piece of cloth or old garments. When they were cleaned and recycled properly, they can be put to good use.

Clothing and textiles are almost recyclable. In the process of recycling, they will be turned into fibers that are used in making towels, rags, socks, garments, carry bags, and pillows.

Note:- The sad truth about Recycling Cloths is, not all types of textiles are effective for recycling. Some are really hard to recycle. However, textiles made up of 100% cotton are the easiest ones. Once the clothes are recycled you can sell them to fashion brands, small secondhand stores, or textile retail outlets.

#3: Metal Waste Recycling

You can recycle different metal items like iron, steel, copper, and aluminum. The availability of metal waste can be found in scrap nails, damaged household products, old automobile parts, farm equipment, paint boxes, and oil containers.

Keep in mind the demand for recycled metal depends on two things,

whether it is a ferrous or non-ferrous material

Second, the source of metal (for example, is it from an automobile or a simple metal can) To start a small metal recycling business you need to have initial resources like a place to fill the scrap metal, machinery, a pick-up truck, and a source to sell your material.

#4: Small-scale Plastic Recycling Unit

Plastic recycling is one of the most demanding businesses across the world. By 2024 it is estimated to reach $50.5 Billion.

In the process of plastic recycling, scrap plastic material is recycled back into raw material that is again used to make new plastic products.

This process helps to decrease the manufacturing rate of virgin plastic. At the same time, reduces the adverse impacts caused by disposing of plastic waste.

Keep in mind starting a plastic business is not a cakewalk, you need to find space, resources, machinery, and deal with labor costs.

In addition to that, the machinery cost varies greatly depending upon your recycling capacity and the type of material that you are recycling.

On average, plastic machinery would cost around $30,000 to $70,000.

Some machines are capable of recycling almost all type of plastics these are all-in-one machines that can wash, break, and turn into pellets in a single batch. They generally cost a huge amount.

Whereas, some machines are only capable of recycling certain material and only do a small portion of recycling.

Things to keep in mind: Plastic recycling business varies depending upon one’s capacity. As a small-scale plastic recycling business, it is best to start off recycling small plastic material such as bottles rather than large scale plastic material like trays or PVC pipes.

#5: Glass Recycling Business

Just like paper and metal, Glass is also 100% recyclable.

Recycled glass helps to reduce CO2 emissions, it is re-usable infinite times when appropriately disposed. it also helps to reduce the energy consumption used in making new glass bottles.

Before starting a small-scale glass recycling business, consider the following things

Not all types of glass materials are recyclable like Vehicle windshields, Pyrex, Window glass, or broken glasses.

Although they can be processed but requires huge energy and money.

As a small recycling business owner, it is especially important to decide what kind of glassware has demand in your market for example beer bottles, pickle jars, food bottles and wine bottles.

Basing on market demand and value you can cosider what type of glass to recycle.

You need to establish connections with local restaurants, shops, bars, and recycling plants for the collection of waste glass.

Take appropriate licenses from local authorities, before you buy or lease an area. Keep in mind glass recycling facilities are known to produce loud noise when they were running.

In addition to this, proper handling is important for glass recycling. Because broken glass material is hard to sort, and they also tend to jam the equipment.

On the other side, it is very important to make sure there is no contamination in your recycled glass otherwise, impurity in glass can reduce its value.

Areas that have demand for recycled glass : Recycled glass has demand in several sectors like hospitality, construction, labs, and medical suppliers.

#6: Refilling Ink and Toners for Printers

We all know buying a new cartridge for a printer is an expensive thing. Especially, for offices that deal with heavy documentation.

Consider taking up a business where you can refill ink or toners for printers. The good thing about this business is, it requires less capital, doesn’t need large space and the cost of equipment is also comparatively less.

Another best thing about this business is, the ROI is fairly good, for example, it would cost approximately 180-200 $ to buy 1 gallon of ink, which can refill up to 350-400 cartridges (depending up on model).

A new cartridge would easily cost around $45-50, Let’s assume, you charge $8-$10 for refilling, when you refill 300 of them which sums up to $2400 – $3000, minus out 100$ for miscellaneous expenses. You still make a good value proposition.

#7: Recycled Compost Business

Do you know every year 1.3 billion food is wasted globally? And most of it occurs at different stages like processing, farming, transportation, retailing, and cooking.

And the shocking fact is, when such waste is dumped in landfills it is known to produce methane gases that are more harmful than carbon dioxide.

To turn this scenario as an advantage you can start a compost business. Where, you can start producing organic compost from waste food material, dried leaves, and other such things.

The best thing about compost recycling business is, it is easy to learn, basically everything gets decomposed! You just need to learn a few basics involved in composting. That’s it you are good to start.

 So where can you get the resources? Try contacting restaurants, residents, and retail stores in your locality. Tell them about your business they might be happy to help you to provide the waste required.

Once you have all the resources, all you need to do is just decompose them and pack the compost and market!

So, What you should be aware of this business?

Check to ensure you have appropriate licenses or permits from local authorities like health and environmental bodies.

Sufficient land for composting and few workers You can sell the compost to nearby farms, gardening stores.

#8: Battery Recycling

Do you know the battery recycling market may reach up to 23.2 billion by 2025? Just from 17.2 billion in 2020?

And by 2030 almost 11 million Metric tons of Li-ion batteries are expected to reach their end life?

Taking into account the market demand and amount of batteries getting discarded every year.

You can consider starting a battery recycling business.

We usually discard a battery once they reach their lifespan. However, they still contain some precious metals that can be recycled and used in the manufacturing of new batteries.

Metals that are obtained from recycling various types of batteries include Stainless steel, Lead-acid, Nickel, Li-ion, Copper, and Aluminium.

That being said, battery recycling has one major concern. It requires approval from several authorities and needs to follow strict safety guidelines while handling them due to their hazardous nature.

Out of several batteries, nickel batteries offer better business, as these type of batteries when sorted gives metals like nickel and iron which can be used in stainless steel production.

#9: Electronic Recycling Business

There is no doubt in saying the Electronic recycling business is one of the striving one in 2021.

Electronic devices became part of our lives. Devices like mobile phones, Laptops, Tablets, Television sets, and Computers are increasing day by day. So, finding resources to start this type of business is not a big problem.

In general, there are two ways of running an electronic waste business

  • Testing the products, cleaning them, and selling them as refurbished products
  • Or Dismantling, segregating, crushing, sorting, and cleaning them. Finally selling the end products to the manufacturers or other recyclers.

Materials that can be obtained from electronic waste include plastic, Metals, Glass, PCB, and CRT units.

Things to keep in mind to start an e-waste business

Whether you start a small-scale or large-scale e-waste business, check to make sure you have fulfilled all the permits and licenses from the local authorities.

Ensure, strict safety measures were adopted. Electronic items contain different hazardous metals like mercury, cadmium, lead, and flame retardants. Mishandling of these metals not only cause serious impact to the employees but also on the environment.

Try to get an industry leading e-waste recycling certifications such as R2 and RIOS. This will help you to know more about this business.

#10: Recycling Construction Waste

The waste deposits that were left over after construction include bricks, metals, glass, fiber, tiles, paint, wood, and many more. Most of these things can be recycled and put to good use.

For example, metals such as steel are fully recyclable, they can be sold to metal recycling plants.

The brick and rubble material can be recycled and used for innovating home or office improvement things. They can also be used for gardening and decorative purposes. Sometimes, the left-over dried paint in cans can also be reused which you can use for painting garage, storage areas, and other surfaces.

#11: Recycling Aluminium, the Most Beneficial and Demanding One

We can give 1st rank for Aluminium recycling business as it is the most sorted out metal on earth for recycling.

Because, Aluminum is cheap, easily available, has high demand in big sectors like automotive, home appliances, electronic items, and food industry.

Moreover, recycling aluminium saves 95% of green houses emissions when compared to original metal production.

So, why only choose aluminum over other metals as a small scale investment?

Basically Aluminium is a cheap metal you can get it from beverage cans, ceiling material, photo frames, cookery material, automotive parts, decorative items, and bicycle frames.

Moreover, recycled Aluminium take only around 5% of the energy for its production than the original one.

The best thing is, it can be recycled numerous times without affecting quality.

There are two ways you can consider starting an Aluminium busines

Collecting, Sorting, Cleaning, and reselling the scrap to Aluminium recycling plants

The other one is setting up a small-scale Aluminium recycling plant.

Depending upon your Budget choose the best suited model for you.

#12: Scrap Tires Recycling, lesser known but Highly Valued

If you know the right channel of supply and market, you can make amazing profits in used tyres business.

The used tyres from cars, trucks, motorcycles can be turned into valuable products. For example, shredded pieces from tyres can be used to make Tyre Derived Fluid (TDF), this fluid is used in cement kilns, paper mills and power plants as an alternative to conventional fuel.

In addition to this, recycled tyre or rubber material have lot of advantages such as

  1. Manufacturing gym and sports equipment
  2. As gravel substitute
  3. As an aggregate in construction material
  4. Making of rubber mats
  5. Used in foot wear industry
  6. Used in making sports pitches.

#13: Recycling Wood or Timber Material

There are variety of things that can be done from recycled wood or timber. Generally, wood can be recycled almost 5 to 6 times.

This makes it one of the best material to start a recycling business.

The recycled wood can be used for making furniture, wooden boxes, bookshelves and doors.

Not only that, artificial wood can be turned into decorative items for home, office, garden and shops.

Even the wood shavings or saw dust has several benefits as an organic fertilizer, to fill holes and cracks also used as an insulation material.

#14: Recycling Coir Material, Newly Emerging Business Idea

coir is a natural fiber obtained from coconut it is extensively used for making mats, ropes, boards, and mattress material. Most of us think it is an useless material and throws it away. But Being a natural substance it can be recycled numerous times making it one of the lesser known recycling business.

When coir is properly extracted and treated free from foreign substances it can be used in making compost, mulch, potting mix, mushroom cultivation, and as bedding or litter for chicken.

So, most of its uses are focused on farming and gardening. So, try to connect with landscaping companies or gardening stores or get in touch with local farmers to help them supply your recycled coir material.

#15: Recycling of Packing Material

Packing materials like cardboard boxes, bubble wraps, paper rolls and stretch wraps can be effectively recycled and put into use.

Once recycled you can turn these materials into different things. For example, after recycling bubble wraps the final pellets can be re-used to make bubble mailers, plastic bags or other plastic products.

Just like the same, cardboard boxes can also be recycled. Where the boxes are shredded and made into fine pasty pulp that is finally dried out and made into corrugated sheets that are used for packing.

#16: Recyling Cooking Oil

Are you thinking of disposing away the used cooking oil into the drain? No wait! Don’t waste it. Used cooking oil after frying or cooking is not a waste.

It can still be used as a recyclable material for making soaps, burning oil lamps, making compost and polish furniture.

A top benefit of recycled cooking oil is, it can be used as a bio fuel to generate power. Moreover, cooking oil burns cleaner than normal fuels with minimal or no adverse impact on global warming.


There is a good demand for recycling business throughout the world and in future, it will definitely increase.

With the increase in global population and to fulfill the unending desires of humankind there is continuous exploitation of natural resources pushing us to a global environmental crisis.

It’s time to double think ourselves before we throw off anything or discard products without responsibility

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