At every domain of the human life and existence, there are always leftover items or materials, which are considered useless. Such materials range from domestic to industrial items such as used polythene bags, plastic, paper, glass, waste leather materials, rubber, scrap metals, textiles, and so on. There is literally no end to the kinds of trash that accrue from our daily activities. Where there is little or no waste management, especially in urban areas, waste materials are dumped recklessly around residential buildings, drainage systems, water bodies and make-shift dumps, and this results in environmental pollution. What many people do not realize is that there is a lot of wealth in the smelling refuse they dump! One of such lucrative opportunities is waste or garbage collection.
How much wealth lies in waste? The global waste management market was worth USD330.06 billion as of 2017. The sector has witnessed significant growth over the years, and is expected to hit over USD530 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 6%. The rapid growth is due to growing economies, its consequent industrial expansion as well as growth in population size, especially in developing countries. According to present statistics, Canada (1.3 billion MT), Bulgaria (190 million MT), the United States (258 MT), Estonia (30 million MT) and Finland (92 million MT) produce the largest volumes of waste per annum. However, many countries have very low recycling culture. On this note, Austria stands as the country with the highest recycling rate all over the world.
In Nigeria, not enough attention is given to collecting and recycling of waste. The West African country produces over 32 million metric tonnes of waste each year, enough to generate as much as $8 billion. Much of the waste collection done in Nigeria is practiced using the traditional methods, especially by itinerant scavengers and private waste collection companies. At the moment, waste collection is found mainly in urban areas of Nigeria, including places such as Lagos, Rivers State, Kano, Abuja, etc. If given enough attention, the volumes of waste left to decay on landfills or washed down into water bodies in the country can contribute significantly to the growth of the economy. There is still enough room both for the government and individual investors to delve into the waste collection business.
If you’re planning to start a lucrative waste collection business in Nigeria or any other part of Africa, here is a detailed step-by-step guide for you.
What Is Waste Or Garbage?
Waste describes all unwanted materials disposed after first use and largely considered to be of no value. However, with the help of proper management, waste materials can now be recycled to produce new items. Wastes could be in diverse forms such as liquid, petroleum, solid (garbage) and organic.
What Is Waste Or Garbage Collection?
Garbage or waste collection refers to the process of collecting, storing, handling, sorting and transporting solid waste materials. Waste collection is an essential component in waste management and waste recycling.
Business Opportunities In Waste Collection In Nigeria And Around The World
1). Waste Collection:
Perhaps the most basic opportunity present in the waste collection business is the actual collection of waste itself. Collection of waste materials requires the services of collectors, drivers, and other unskilled workers who undertake the processing, handling and sorting of garbage collected.
2). Waste Evacuation:
In the waste management industry, certain waste personnel are charged with evacuating refuse from designated refuse dumps. This is a core part of waste collection because the official landfills where these wastes are dumped form sources of wealth for waste collectors.
3). Waste Recycling:
After garbage are collected, they are processed for several different purposes and products for use. Recycling waste is a highly lucrative business opportunity on its own, even though it is more capital-intensive and broader in scale than waste collection.
Facts And Benefits Of Waste Or Garbage
- Waste collection protects the environment
- It prevents health challenges
- Waste collection and management traces back to Ancient Greece at around 500 B.C.
- In the United States, aluminum cans are the most trashed items.
- Each person produces an average of 4.5kg of waste per day.
- Waste management is so broad that it incorporates as much as 20 industries.
- Austria are top of the global recycling industry.
- Canada, Estonia, the US and Japan are some of the countries that generate the highest volumes of waste per annum.
- In Germany, you get paid for every plastic bottle you return.
- Garbage cars were formerly called dustbin lorries.
- In Nigeria, waste collection is practiced mostly in urban areas.
- About 2.5 million plastic bottles are used in the United States each passing hour.
- Paper waste collection has grown by as high as 90% over the past years.
- If not collected, aluminum cans can last as long as 500 years!
- Dumping plastic items in water bodies kills about 1 million sealife each year.
How To Start A Lucrative Waste Collection Business In Nigeria Or Africa: A Step-By-Step Guide
1). Write A Business Plan:
The most basic step in starting your waste collection business in any part of the world is to draft a comprehensive business plan. To do this, it is advisable to conduct a quick feasibility study of the area where you intend to operate, so you could make the best decisions and plans.
2). Get A Business Site:
Secure a suitable business location and site your office there. The site must be big enough to house all your trucks and devices for sorting and processing collected waste.
3). Invest In Equipment And Facilities:
A waste collection business requires certain tools and facilities to operate maximally. Pickup trucks, hooks and sacks are the most basic items you need. For ease, you should invest in machines for packaging and sorting the collected garbage.
4). Get Insurance And Necessary Permits:
To cover up for possible accidents at work or other related incidences, you could register your business with an insurance firm after the basic corporate registrations. You also have to register with the authorised waste management body in your state for operational permits, permissions to use available landfills or official waste dumps.
Challenges Of Waste Collection Business In Nigeria
- Lack of financial support for the waste management sector
- Absence of legal framework for waste disposal
- Limited infrastructure for waste management.
- Poor planning
- Limited employee knowledge on how to handle waste.
- Difficulty in reaching out to foreign waste recycling companies.
- Irregularity in prices of waste materials.
- Safety challenges
- High cost of maintaining devices used for processing and packaging waste.
- Exposure to waste materials for long holds risks of health challenges for workers.
To Sum It Up
Municipal solid waste collection is a waste-to-wealth opportunity for all kinds of investors. You do not necessarily need high skills or qualifications to start up a waste or garbage collection business in Nigeria or any other parts of the world. With the right training and guide, you could build a business empire around waste collection and recycling. The waste or garbage 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 garbage collection business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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