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How To Start an E-Waste Recycling Business – Cost, Licenses

Do you want to start an e-waste recycling business in India with a low capital investment? Find here a detailed business plan guide for entrepreneurs looking forward to starting an e-waste recycling plant.

E-waste stands for electronic waste. Generally, the electronic items which we can reuse, recycle, resale, or dispose of are our potential e-waste items. Nowadays, e-waste includes a wide list of materials. Such as computers, office electronic equipment, entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, television sets, air conditioners, and refrigerators.

Broadly, it includes display units (CRT, LCD, LED monitors), processors (CPU, GPU, or APU chips), memory (DRAM or SRAM), and several audio components.

These days, e-waste is a burning issue both in developing and developed countries. The stock of e-waste is growing very fast. Therefore, this creates a requirement for effective recycling. Basically, the explosive growth of the electronics industry is the major reason for escalating the issue of landfill. Additionally, the reduced life spans of electrical, electronic, and consumer electronic devices are generating large e-waste.

Is E-waste Recycling Business Profitable?

Basically, the growth of the E-waste market is supplemented by the growing need for upgrading to the latest technologies. A desire for the adoption of new technologically advanced devices leads to the generation of millions of tons of E-Waste across various regions.

As per the International Finance Corporation (IFC), The electronic waste sector is going to create 4.5 lakh direct jobs by 2025 and another 1.8 lakh jobs in the allied sectors of the transportation and manufacturing industry in India.

Especially mobile devices, televisions, and computer devices are experiencing fast growth across the world. With increasing purchasing power and the rising trend of disposable income, the sale of these electronic devices is increasing continuously.

In addition, the new product launches with updated features and additional services are attracting customers to upgrade their old products with new products. This has reduced the lifespan of these devices to about 3-4 years.

Thus, this is adding more and more e-waste at a tremendous rate. Therefore, the ongoing sale of electronic products provides a lucrative environment for e-waste management in the coming years.

Why E-waste Recycling is Important?

  • First of all, e-waste contains a huge amount of precious metals. And we can use those metals after the recovery from the scrap.
  • Recycling e-waste helps to manage solid waste effectively.
  • Actually, old electronic devices contain toxic substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium. And these are tremendously harmful to the environment. Therefore, proper processing of e-waste is essential.
  • Nowadays, e-waste contributes to more than 70% of environmental pollution. And only recycling e-waste can reduce environmental pollution.

Licenses & Permission for E-waste Recycling Business

Starting an e-waste recycling and processing activity demands different types of permission and licensing from the Govt. authority. However, the specific requirements may vary from state to state. Here we have compiled some of the basic necessities.

  • First of all, apply for the Udyog Aadhaar MSME registration. You can apply this online.
  • After that, apply for the ‘consent to establish’ permission from the state Pollution Control Board. For applying, you have to submit several documents. The list includes a Site plan/index, Topographical Map, Detailed plant layout including DG set capacity in KVA, Process Flowsheet, Details of water pollution/air pollution control systems, SSI Certificate or NOC from the Directorate of Industries, Consent fees in form of DD in favor of the state PCB, local Body NOC and Undertaking on 20 Rs stamp paper or CA certificate about proposed investments
  • If you want to import the scrap, you will need to have permission from the environment ministry to import the e-scrap. Additionally, you can obtain a detailed procedure from CBEC (Central Board of Excise and Customs).

E-waste Recycling Business Model

In starting any business, it is important to create an effective business model. And creating the right business model is the make-or-break aspect of this business. As far as operation is concerned, you can break the overall activity into several steps.

These are collecting the devices, processing the scrap, and finally, getting the money in exchange for the components.

According to your investment capacity, it is important to determine the operational areas of your e-waste recycling business.

If you don’t want to collect the devices from the mass population, then you have to depend on the scrap collectors (Kawariwala). However, collecting the scrap from the users ensures a better margin along with brand awareness.

Cost of Starting an E-waste Recycling Business

An e-waste recycling business demands substantial capital investment. First of all, you have to put the investment into getting the necessary permissions and licenses. Additionally, you have to secure a space for operation with a dump yard.

The processing operation demands different equipment and tools. You have to hire skilled and professional manpower. And finally, you have to take care of the daily basic expenses related to the operation, marketing, etc.

The Total approximate cost of starting a small-scale e-waste recycling processing unit will start from 15 Lacs to more than 1 Crore depending upon the size and type of equipment.

Arranging Funds

Sourcing fund is one of the most critical steps in starting an e-waste recycling business. There are various ways of approaching funds to secure funding. Banks, government grants, and alternative lenders are some of the popular options.

You can also apply for instant business loans from personal loan apps. Also, apply for a credit card for handling small day-to-day business expenses.

Suggested Read: Best Business Loans In India

10 Steps for Starting E-waste Recycling Business

1. After you decide to start the e-waste recycling business, check the online marketplace. Check the established e-waste recycling company websites for getting knowledge of their style of operation.

2. Create a brand name, a catchline, and a logo. These are all mandatory these days for operating a business successfully.

3. Register your business. Have the all necessary licenses and permissions.

4. Secure the space. Check the availability of commercial electricity and water. You must have a dumping yard. It is advisable to secure the space in an industrial area. Though it is not mandatory, it eliminates different social and political hazards.

5. Prepare the business model and create your company website. If you want to target the end consumers, then you can offer an instant quote facility for the devices. Additionally, you can offer a free pickup facility and an instant cash payment facility.

6. Determine the territory. It is very crucial when you collect the devices from the consumers. Because the distance is an important aspect of calculating the unit cost and net profit. Additionally, your consumers must know in which specific city your service is available.

7. Craft a marketing plan carefully. No business can be successful without an effective marketing plan. And in today’s digital world, you must concentrate on digital advertising.

8. Procure the essential equipment and tools for the operation.

9. Hire experienced and skilled manpower. Broadly, you have to hire employees for the processing, admin operation, pickup, and delivery facility and for marketing.

10. Finally, you must have the right software for leak-proof operation. E-waste recycling is a heavily detailed-oriented business. Therefore, you must have an integrated system for better monitoring and control of the business.

About Next What Business Research Team

The Editorial Staffs at NextWhatBusiness is a team of Business Consultants with years of experience in small and medium-scale manufacturing and service-based businesses.