Recycling Business – Earn N80,000 monthly picking up trash


Chances are that you have seen young men picking up trash like used bottles, plastic materials, aluminum and iron bars from the road. These dirty looking men may be earning over N80,000 every month from this dirty looking business.

There are big businesses making money from this type of recycling venture. You can walk around on foot to pick trash and sell for money. You can also build or rent your own yard where people can bring stuffs to sell to you while you recycle them and make money.

There are also recyclers who own big trucks that move around cities and towns to pick up litters in exchange for money.

I have seen people who recycle used engine oil; they make millions of naira from this business monthly. I was later told that used engine oil can be converted to a diesel like fuel which can power some types of equipment.

The opportunities in recycling business especially in cities are huge.

recycling business

Steps to take before you start your recycling business

Choose the type of recycling business you want to do

You can start the business by trekking around your location and start picking trash. I know people who do this and make between N3,000 – N5,000 every day. Some of these trash pickers pick PET bottle, iron bars and other recyclable materials.

The recyclers at the lowest rung of the ladder move around with wheelbarrows and bags to pick up trash that can be recycled.

If you can afford a truck, you can drive this truck around and pick up trash. People with big trash or refuse can pay you for helping them to clear their mess.

For big recycling business, you may need to build or rent a yard where recyclable materials are stored. Some of these yards can house trash worth several millions of naira.

Register your business

It is always better to be on the side of the law. You need to register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). You may also need to register with the local authorities and other environmental agencies before you are allowed to do any recycling business.

In Lagos state, you will need to register with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).

Raise capital

For big recycling business, you may need to raise capital. You need to buy trucks, engage a network of trash pickers and build or rent a yard. Depending on the scale of business, you may need to buy sorting and recycling plant.

Your bank, family or friends can bankroll your project. Do not be shy to ask for assistance in the form of finance. If your business plan is feasible, your chances of getting investment into the business will be brighter.

Identify trash buyers

If you cannot use the trash you pick yourself. You need to identify those who will buy them from you. Buyers of recyclable materials are in almost all cities and towns in Nigeria.

You just need to go around and strike a deal with them. Depending on the volume of trash you pick, you can even export it.

Big manufacturers of iron bars and PET bottles are always happy to buy recyclable materials. The lull in the FX market in Nigeria has made this category of manufacturers to look inwards.

recycling business

Expand your business

If your recycling business has grown significantly, you should consider expanding it. If you sell locally, you may consider exporting containers of recyclable materials to buyers in other countries. You will earn more money from exporting.

Opportunities not fully tapped in Nigeria

There are a lot of opportunities in the recycling sector that people have not fully tapped in Nigeria. Some of the opportunities include:

  • Partnering with government to remove abandoned vehicles littering cities and towns around Nigeria
  • Partnering with the Federal Government to clear waterways of abandoned ships and boats
  • Recycling of plant materials and farm waste
  • Dismantling and recycling abandoned aircrafts in Nigeria’s airports
  • Recycling of dirty water to drinkable water
  • Conversion of litter to gas etc

You can turn your life around by starting this business. Nothing is dirty so far it brings legitimate income.

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