Recycling For Profit

Never knew your company could do recycling for profit?

Here’s something our guest writer, Terry Hollen, President of Quality Bilt Equipment, has to share with you about recycling to make that extra profit for your company.


By guest writer, Terry Hollen, President of Quality Bilt Equipment

I’m not just talking about recycling companies.

Your company can make a profit from recycling, even if what your company does has nothing to do with recycling. Even if your company does manufacturing product, provides human services or handles logistics, it could potentially still make money from recycling.

This is because many of the materials your company might use could be recycled, and they could fetch you some earnings, and savings, from the recycling of these materials.

For example, unwanted paper and cardboard, plastic and Styrofoam and shrink or stretch wrap, aluminum and other scrap metals, carpet padding, car headboards or even insulating material from the manufacture of appliances, etc, can fetch you a monetary value when baled and sold to recycling mills. So there’s definitely room for recycling for profit.

Add that earning to the savings of not having to pay to have your unwanted stuff hauled away (for waste disposal) – the amount of money you earn and save could easily pay for a baling equipment that will help you to handle your recyclables and fetch more earnings, in less than a year.

Let’s look at the sums when recycling for profit

Most companies pay about $300 each time for a 40 yard roll-off container to dispose of their waste materials. And this $300 does not include the additional cost brought about by the weight of waste materials within the container.

Let's do some simple math. If your container is being hauled away twice a week and it is half full of cardboard, that means that you are paying at least $300 per week to have your waste cardboard hauled away.

Most of the time, that cardboard is being separated by the waste hauler (who charges you the $300) and sold to a recycling mill. So not only does the waste hauler collect money from you to haul the cardboard away, he is making money selling it as well.

Collecting the cardboard and selling it must be worthwhile for the waste hauler! Why else would he do it?

The question is, why isn’t your company saving and making that money for yourselves?

If you can save $300 per week and sell the cardboard for another $125 - $150, over a year's time, that is over $22,000! Yes, I said $22,000!

I hope by now, you can see that recycling for profit is not unimaginable.

How to start recycling for profit

To start, go to your company’s waste site and see what is being hauled away by the waste management services every day. Is the waste container usually half or even ¾ full with materials like paper, cardboard, plastic or scrap metal? If it is, then you might be looking at a potential business opportunity where you can do recycling for profit.

If you need help identifying the recyclables in your waste, read the list of what to recycle, or ask someone for help. There are many companies (including Quality Bilt Equipment) who will offer free waste audits to individuals, households or companies on how they can save, and earn, money from their waste pile. In other words, they can offer advice on how your company can do recycling for profit. And such audit services usually come with no obligations on your part.

Once you have identified the recyclables in your waste that you will be selling to the recycling mills, the next step is planning how to handle the recyclables. This plan will need to include details like

  • how will the recyclable be collected and stored (e.g. having the packaging unit dispose of all unwanted cardboard in a designated bin)
  • who will be in charge of handling the recyclables and sending them to the recycling mill

Why you need a baler when recycling for profit

Ultimately, a baler will be very useful for you. Basically, a baler is an equipment that will cut and pack your recyclables into compact bales that are easier to handle, store and transport. When your recyclables are baled, they will also fetch you more earnings at the recycling mills. Most recyclers will not give full value for plastic that is not baled into "mill size" bales (roughly 60" X 30" X 48" - 800 - 1,000 lb bales).

In turn, the type of baler you require depends on the type of recyclables you have. For example, there are Styrofoam densifers, hard disk shredders, etc.

An investment of about $7,000 - $10,000 is needed for a baler (depending on the type you are looking at), but this investment is just once, and it could be paid for in less than 6 months, considering the prices offered for recyclables today. And once that investment is made, the benefits of the baler could last you 20 to even 30 years. Spending $10,000 now for savings of $22,000 per year for the next 20 to 30 years sounds like a "no brainer" to me.

And you could even explore providing baling services for your neighbours at a small charge. There’s so many money earning opportunities with recycling. Recycling for profit is definitely possible!

Make a difference today

Some companies have not seen the value of recycling for profit and in protecting the environment. Maybe they are too busy in a very bad economy to consider the effects and benefits of recycling. Maybe they have not taken the time to give it a little more thought.

Whatever the reason, I believe that Corporate America does care! If I am right and if you do care (which I believe you do), do a little research into your company's recycling policies and make a suggestion to you superior that they do something to help the environment by recycling.

Do something to make a difference today, and in the process, earn a profit.

Quality Bilt Equipments is a manufacturer of recycling and waste equipment, such as balers, compactors, hard drive shredders, Styrofoam densifiers, reverse vending machines & more. They are dedicated to helping their clients identify the most effective way to save time and money.

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