How To Start Waste Rubber Collection Business in Nigeria or Africa: Guide

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How To Start Waste Rubber Collection Business in Nigeria or Africa: Guide

How To Start A Lucrative Waste Rubber Collection Business In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide | Image: Pixabay

Very few businesses across the world involve low investment and high profitability as much as the waste collection business. Waste collection, a major component of the waste recycling industry, continues to gain relevance as the global awareness on the importance of repurposing supposedly useless materials, spreads. In other words, individuals, firms, companies, organisations and governments of the world are now becoming increasingly aware of the dangers that waste materials hold for the environment if not well managed. On the flip side, the world has discovered the wealth in recycling waste materials, and one of such avenues is waste collection.

One of the most lucrative waste recycling industries, the rubber recycling market was valued at $7.6 billion in 2017. As of 2020, around 1.7 billion tyres are disposed annually, but only about 1 billion of them are collected and recycled as waste for several purposes, including retreading, oil production and production of other new materials, among others. The rubber recycling industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% to about $10 billion in 2022. At the moment, Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy and the United States of America are the big names in rubber recycling.

As the rubber recycling industry expands worldwide, it takes a significant positive toll on the Nigerian market. Although Africa as a whole accounts for only 1% of global tyre production, Nigeria alone imports close to 10 million units per annum and discards close to 260 million tyres every passing year, thanks to the growing adoption of automobiles both for industrial and personal use. Major industrial cities and towns in Nigeria such as Port-Harcourt, Lagos, Onitsha, Abuja and Aba, among others, are the highest concentration of waste tyres. This makes these areas and the neighboring towns good centers for waste tyre collection in Nigeria. Despite the fact that there are very few industries to repurpose the waste tyres into finished products in the country, Nigeria makes a businesss hub for waste tyre collection. Perhaps the best part is that you don’t need a large capital to start; a pickup truck and a hook are just the right tools to start your waste collection business from the scratch!

If you’re considering starting a waste rubber collection business in Nigeria or any other part of Africa, you’re a step in the right direction. Here is a detailed guide to help you.

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What Is Rubber?

Rubber refers to the natural substance gotten from the rubber tree called Hevea brasiliensis. There is a distinction between natural rubber (the original unprocessed rubber type gotten from nature) and other rubber types such as synthetic rubber produced through a chemical process.


What Is Waste Rubber Collection?

Waste rubber collection describes the process involved in picking, gathering and collecting waste rubber items for recycling into new products. Although this is not the only possibility, waste rubber collection largely involves collection of disposed tyres.

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Business Opportunities In Waste Rubber Collection Business In Nigeria And Around The World

1). Collection Of Disposed Rubber Or Tyres:

The most basic job opportunity associated with a rubber collection business is the actual collection itself. With waste tyres lying about in corners and streets of any city and town, a waste tyre collection business requires the services of young energetic labourers to scout and collect them. In most parts of Nigeria, the workers use just the hand hook, sack bags for packing and a cart. They scout through refuse dumps, visit vehicle repairshops as well as residential houses for waste tyres.

2). Recycling Rubber Waste:

Rubber collection is one major component in reprocessing and reusing rubber for production of other products. Recycled rubber can be used for production of oils, retreading purposes, as energy sources and for making new domestic and industrial items. The rubber recycling business at large is highly lucrative and can be a worthy investment over the long term.

3). Export Services:

The unavailability of rubber waste processing companies in Nigeria makes room for waste export business. A tonne of rubber waste is valued at over N600,000 as of 2020, with a possible rise in value over time. This creates job opportunities for individuals and firms involved in exportation as well as rubber waste collection companies.

4). Repair And Maintenance Services:

Repair and maintenance might seem like the least of worries for rubber collection firms but it is still an avenue for technicians, electricians and other repair personnel to get their paychecks. The most basic devices used for preparing and packaging collected rubber such as shredders and threading machines, require the services of engineers, among others, for optimal performance.


Facts And Benefits Of Rubber

  • Rubber is known by several names such as latex, caoutchouc and Indian rubber.
  • Asia produces the largest volume of natural rubber.
  • European and North American countries, including Sweden, Italy, USA, Germany, etc. contribute the largest volumes of recycled rubber waste.
  • Rubber is useful for production of domestic items such as gloves, doormats, etc.
  • Collection and recycling of waste rubber saves the atmosphere from greenhouse emissions.
  • In the United States, not less than 30 million units of tyres are retreaded annually.
  • The first rubber company was founded in 1803.
  • Most rubber products, including tyres, contain only 40% natural rubber.
  • In Nigeria, waste tyre is found in most towns and cities including Port-Harcourt, Lagos, Onitsha, Abuja, Aba, etc.
  • Nigeria disposes about 260 million units of tyres each year.
  • American chemist Charles Goodyear introduced the use of the vulcanization process to strengthen tyres.
  • Collecting and recycling disposed tyres makes the environment safer and cleaner.
  • Rubber is useful in sporting activities.
  • Tyres are originally white. It is the addition of carbon that makes them black.
  • The small bits derived after shredding tyres are are called crumbs.

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Types Of Rubber

There are two basic types of rubber:

1). Natural Rubber:

Natural rubber refers to the original elastic substance gotten directly from the latex sap of rubber trees. At this point, rubber can be processed into several products using various chemicals, depending on the product in question.

2). Synthetic Rubber:

Synthetic rubber is the rather broad term for describing all forms of polymer. Polymers are artifical elastromers which can serve as suitable replacements for natural rubber. There are several kinds of synthetic rubber used in the production of different materials or products. The chemical components of each synthetic rubber type is based on the purpose the product is meant to serve. This includes industrial use, production of domestic items, fashion wear, etc.


How To Start A Rubber Waste Collection Business In Nigeria: A Step-By-Step Guide

1). Create A Business Plan:

To start a large-scale waste rubber collection business, you should first draft out a comprehensive business plan detailing all your objectives, timeline and decisions, as well as budget for the business.

2). Get A Business Site:

A favourable business site is one of the most vital factors to the success of a waste rubber collection business. Your business site should be located at the heart of a town or city where it can be easily accessed by buyers of waste rubber materials.

3). Invest In Processing Equipment:

As a waste rubber collection company, your business might not exactly focus on processing waste rubber into finished products but you need equipment and devices such as shredders to package your collected waste rubber into units that can be easily transported and exported. If you cannot afford a pyrolysis plant, you should get shredders, grinders, carts, hooks, etc. for a start.

4). Network With Exporters:

This is the point when you make other firms, individuals and companies in the recycling industry aware of your business. You need export companies to sell your waste rubber to foreign buyers at the best rates available.

5). Employ Labour:

A typical waste or scrap collection business requires the service of agile workers to scout the cities and towns for valuable materials. You might as well have to train the selected people on the types of rubber items to look out for before equipping them with the required tools for business.

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Challenges Of Waste Rubber Collection Business In Nigeria

  • A waste rubber collection business might be capital-intensive to start if you plan to go large-scale.
  • Difficulty in reaching the international market
  • Lack of trust between waste rubber collection companies and exporters.
  • Unfavourable international market policies
  • Fluctuation in market prices of waste rubber
  • Absence of trust between waste rubber collection firms and their collectors
  • The high cost of maintaining equipment such as the shredders.
  • Need for security and protection of the business site.
  • Difficulty in transporting collected waste rubber from one location or the other due to the bad road network.
  • Lack of government support

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To Sum It Up

There is a lot of untapped wealth in waste collection, and the same is true in Nigeria and Africa at large. Although waste collection is still very much underdeveloped in the region, there is high profitability for potential investors and businesspersons. The waste rubber 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 waste rubber collection business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.


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