E-waste collection refers to the collection of electronic waste materials for recycling. The globe is replete with electronic gadgets ranging from mobile phones to desk computers, which typically last within three to eight years before they become scrap. However, only about 20% of global e-waste is recycled. Much of the remaining percentage ultimately heads for the refuse dumps and landfills, thereby resulting in environmental and economic hazards. E-waste collection and recycling becomes a step in the right direction towards saving the planet and creating wealth from waste to sustain the struggling global economy.
There are reports that the global annual e-waste has a $60 billion potential but sadly, the e-waste management industry was only valued at a little over $41 billion in 2019. However, there are indications that the market is bound to grow to $103 billion at a massive CAGR of 20.6% within 2020 and 2025. Although the overall recycling culture still has room for improvement, China, USA, Japan, India, Germany and Brazil take the lead as far as e-waste generation is concerned.
In the same vein, things are looking brighter in the e-waste collection and recycling industry in Nigeria. In 2019 alone, the West African country generated an excess of 290,000 metric tonnes of e-waste materials, including mercury waste, lead, cadmium plastics, gold materials and metals. However, much of these electronic waste collected in Nigeria are hand-collected by collectors and waste scouts who work for private waste collection businesses across the country. With the right factors in place, the e-waste collection industry is bound to expand significantly in the coming years. If you are looking to start an e-waste collection and management business, here is a detailed step-by-step guide to help you start effortlessly.
What Is E-Waste?
Every unused solid material derived from electronic gadgets and appliances such as mobile phones, computers, television sets, radio sets, medical equipment, cameras, calculators, photocopiers, printers, air conditioners, etc. is considered an e-waste or electronic waste. Specific materials derived from e-waste include gold ore, mercury, lead, plastics and, of course, metals.
What Is An E-Waste Collection Business?
An e-waste business involves every activity related to collecting, handling, sorting, managing and processing electronic waste for recycling. E-waste collection business is one of the offshoots of the global efforts to save the planet from the hazards caused by unmanaged and un-recycled waste as well as the need to conserve the fast-depleting energy forms.
Business Opportunities In E-Waste Business In Nigeria And Across The World
1). E-Waste Collection And Handling:
Every recycling business starts with collection of the specific waste materials of interest. Collection of e-waste could be planned and systematic and it requires the service of individuals who are trained to differentiate the waste materials based on their market value.
2). Sorting And Processing Services:
E-waste collection businesses take special care to sort, prepare and package e-waste materials based on type and value before forwarding them to recycling firms. This service keeps a handful of workers employed all over the world.
3). Distribution And Export Services:
Local drivers, distributors and international exporters of e-waste materials are another set of people who get their paychecks from e-waste collection.
4). Repair And Maintenance Services:
E-waste collection and recycling also require the service of technicians to check and repair the equipment used in packaging and preparing e-waste materials for recycling.
Facts And Benefits Of E-Waste
- About 70% of the toxic materials on landfills and refuse dumps are from electronic waste.
- The world generates about $60 billion worth of e-waste every year but only 17 to 20% of these waste materials are successfully repurposed.
- E-waste contains lots of toxic materials including lead and mercury.
- Recycling e-waste is a way of saving resources and making the environment safer.
- China, USA, Japan, India, Germany and Brazil take the lead as far as e-waste generation is concerned.
- Most people store their old electronics at home, not knowing what to do with them.
- About 75kg of gold and 770kg of silver can be regenerated from every 1 million laptops recycled.
- In the year 2024, the United States of America generated 11.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste.
- Excessive exposure to e-waste materials such as lead can cause serious health hazards such as paralysis and coma.
- Metals, glasses and plastics are equally waste materials found in e-waste collection.
- The general mobile phones contain precious materials such as gold and silver.
- There are reports that for every 10,000 tonnes of computer recycled, about 290 jobs are created.
How To Start An E-Waste Collection Business In Nigeria: A Step-By-Step Guide
1). Draft A Business Plan:
Start by writing a professional business plan based on a detailed research on the possibility of an e-waste business in your chosen area or locality.
2). Site Your Business:
Site your business at a favourable location. An e-waste collection business typically requires a secure wide office space, especially for storage and packaging of collected e-waste materials.
3). Employ Staff:
The size of your e-waste collection business determines the number of staff to employ, but the most basic personnel you need for a start are the actual collectors and a trained person to take charge of accounts.
4). Get The Necessary Equipment:
After setting up the business site, you have to invest in the necessary equipment for packaging your collected e-waste, including a scale, over-belt magnets, shredders, as well as safety kits.
5). Register Your Business:
It is necessary to register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as well as the recycling body or agency in charge of managing e-waste.
6). Create Awareness:
It is advisable to use social media platforms to create awareness for your e-waste collection business. E-mail marketing, SEO marketing and WhatsApp marketing are some of the ways to inform the public of your e-waste collection business and they could contact you whenever they have e-waste materials to discard.
Challenges Of E-Waste Collection Business In Nigeria
- Poor recycling culture in Nigeria.
- Lack of loan facilities for businesspersons.
- Difficulty in collecting e-waste materials.
- Lack of infrastructure for proper e-waste disposal and management.
- Unfavourable legislations on e-waste management.
- Excessive exposure to toxic chemicals could cause harm to workers.
- Fluctuation in market prices of e-waste materials,
- Lack of solid recycling system for e-waste collectors.
- Distrust between e-waste collectors and the collection firms.
- Difficulty in convincing the public to let go of their e-waste materials.
To Sum It Up
The e-waste collection industry is a highly lucrative business prospect for interested businesspersons all across the world who can put in the right factors. The e-waste collection business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide network. If you’re looking for a lucrative business to venture into, the e-waste collection business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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