Turning waste into wealth

Sunday October 6 2019

A lot of people will agree that waste is bad

A lot of people will agree that waste is bad for our environment 

By Samuel Chinedu

How does one turn waste to wealth? How can you become a millionaire just by collecting and processing waste? In this article, I will share with you some businesses you can start to create wealth from waste. After all, one man’s waste is another man’s wealth, yes?
A lot of people will agree that waste is bad for our environment. After the recent flooding in the city, there was a collective outrage at the sheer amount of waste lying in our gutters, making water drainage almost impossible which ultimately resulted to the city flooding.

This has led prominent people and thought leaders in their various spheres to come up with different ideas for reducing the amount of waste in our streets. As an entrepreneur, someone who makes wealth by providing solutions to problems, waste is very good for your account balance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should all go about throwing litters indiscriminately. I’m an avid #TrashHater myself and I #PickThatTrash whenever and wherever. What I’m saying is, out of the amount of waste already existing in our towns, a willing and smart entrepreneur could make insane amount of wealth.

Waste collection
Unlike in the past, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people in many towns to indiscriminately fling their trash inside the gutters. Not only is this irresponsible, it is one way to get arrested if one is caught in the act. As a result, people are eagerly looking for convenient ways to properly dispose their waste and many of them are willing to pay for it. Waste collection is serious business if you plan and execute it right. For a start you will need lots of willing customers such as homes, offices, companies, restaurants, and so forth.

The good part is, the customers are already there waiting for you to approach them and introduce yourself.
To make your business more formal, you may register your business with relevant bodies. Then you get to work. You can start waste collection business on any scale. Of course it makes more sense if you can afford a waste collection truck but you can start with even a wheelbarrow and still make money.

Waste processing
Waste processing usually goes hand in hand with waste collection. Some of the big names in the recycling business have a system which integrates waste collection and processing.
There two types of waste: organic and inorganic waste. Both of them have very good economic uses. Organic waste is degradable waste such as food, grass, animals, and anything that can decay. Inorganic waste is not degradable: plastic, non-degradable paper, rubber, glass, etc. Waste processing entails separating organic from inorganic waste so that both can be converted to other useful states. Usually, large recycling companies will pay you to bring inorganic waste to them for recycling while organic waste can be converted to other useful products such as compost.

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Biogas production
The concept of biogas is relatively new in this part of the world but in places such as Vietnam and India, biogas has been in use for more than four decades now. Starting a biogas business will require more than a passing knowledge of the technology; you will need to master the techniques and have access to large amounts of organic waste.

Fertiliser production
Organic waste is a natural source of compost. Compost is used as natural fertiliser which farmers are more than happy to have. Because natural fertiliser is preferred to artificial fertiliser, farmers are willing to pay you if you can maintain a steady supply of compost. This business holds so much potentials that when you understand the sheer benefits of compost to agriculture, you will get angry the next time you see people throwing their waste away.

To set up a compost farm, you will need large amounts of organic waste supply. It also ties closely with waste collection and processing because it is at the point of collecting and processing waste that you separate organic from inorganic waste.

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