How to start an e-waste recycling company

Written by corey morris
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How to start an e-waste recycling company
Starting an e-waste Recycling Business Helps Protect the Environment (e-waste 2 image by Clarence Alford from

E-waste, or electronic waste, recycling is the safest way to dispose of electronic items such as computers and old televisions. These centres salvage parts from broken or dead electronics. Your business can salvage and recycle computer and television components such as motherboards, microchips, screens, hard drives and memory circuits before the units are completely demolished. Creating an e-waste recycle centre helps further the use of these parts while protecting the environment.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Certification license
  • Business permit
  • Delivery vehicle
  • Safety masks
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Container bins
  • Compactor/crushing tool

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  1. 1

    Acquire the proper certification permits and licenses to open and operate an e-waste facility. You'll need a hazardous-waste permit to handle items such as computers and televisions in a disposal setting, since they contain hazardous waste materials. You'll also need a business permit to open a business in a particular locality. Do your research, and select a location in line with the locality's zoning regulations. Contact your city or county's public works department and clerk's office to obtain the necessary permits.

  2. 2

    Create an assembly line inside the facility to keep the space organised and safe. An assembly line allows your employees to disassemble electronics as they arrive at the facility and then transfer reusable items from the conveyor belt into small container bins. Break down each item as much as possible to avoid leaving salvageable components behind. While the size of the belt can vary, install a conveniently sized belt for the quantity of items taken in. Salvage only reusable materials.

  3. 3

    Purchase the equipment needed for the recycling facility. Buy data-erasing software as well so you can easily remove any information left on salvaged hard drives before reselling them. Purchase software capable of erasing virtually the entire memory of a computer so customers will feel safe and protected. You will also need a crushing tool to compact glass and non-reusable metal materials. Independent recyclers should dispose of this waste so it does not lie around on their business lot.

  4. 4

    Hire a staff of qualified workers knowledgeable in e-waste recycling. You will need a delivery vehicle capable of transporting and collecting items; have a properly licensed driver on your staff who can legally operate large vehicles. Supply all workers with safety masks, gloves, and eyewear for their protection when disassembling units.

  5. 5

    Advertise your facility by contacting local recyclers, electronic refurbishes and computer repair shops interested in purchasing any items you have salvaged. Draw up contracts with all of these third-party locations to establish a steady line of revenue. Sell the items in a small space at your facility if possible to draw income from visitors or customers purchasing or dropping off e-waste.

Tips and warnings

  • Charge customers for pickup and delivery of items, which will create some extra income.
  • Follow local, state and federal guidelines for proper e-waste recycling to help keep your workers and customers safe.
  • Wear all safety equipment when handling e-waste materials. Some parts of televisions and computers contain lead or mercury. These chemicals are very dangerous and can lead to serious injury if handled improperly.

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