How to start a paper recycling business

Written by melinda gaines
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Recycling centres make money by selling their sorted recyclables to manufacturers that use them to make other products, ranging from boxes to notebooks. Paper recycling businesses can be quite lucrative---it is fairly easy to accumulate paper that can be recycled, and most people are eager to ensure their paper waste is put to good use. With careful planning, you can own a successful paper recycling centre.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • EIN
  • DBA
  • Warehouse
  • Compactors
  • Recycling bins
  • Web site

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  1. 1

    Obtain an assumed name certificate (DBA) from your county clerk, get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS, and file business registration papers with your state. You can choose to be a sole proprietor, limited liability corporation, or partnership. In most areas, no special permit is needed to start a recycling business.

  2. 2

    Lease a warehouse that is at least 2,500 square feet---it is best to get a space with an attached office. Rent on such a space will cost between £1,170 and £1,755 per month, depending on the area you're in.

  3. 3

    Purchase a commercial compactor from a retailer such as PTR Baler and Compactor Company or Compactors, Inc. You should also buy large bins to sort and store your paper recyclables from a supplier, such as, Recycling Supply, or Uline.

  4. 4

    Hire at least two employees: one as a customer service representative to greet customers that drop off recyclables and answer phone and e-mail inquiries, and another to help sort and compact recyclables. Anyone who handles the compactor should be at least 18 years old---the laws in your area may require that they be at least 21 years old.

  5. 5

    Develop an informational web site listing your paper recycling center's operating hours, what types of paper you accept, information about how to donate recyclables, and articles stressing the importance and benefits of recycling paper goods.

  6. 6

    Contact the local grade schools and businesses in office buildings in your area to see if they will allow you to place recycling bins at their location for free. In exchange, offer to pick up the bins one or two times per week.

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