How to start waste management business in Nigeria - Startuppreneur
Physical business

How to start waste management business in Nigeria

Waste management business?

As in waste?


This was one of the numerous question my friends threw at me when we were discussing about profitable business in Nigeria.

Mentioning the name ‘waste’ itself make some of them want to vomit, but when I analyse and give them fact and figure that show the profitabiliy of the business and the help it will be rendering to community, they were agape.


Waste management which is handling and recycling of solid waste did not start now it has been in existence for long time, just that it came into limelight recently due to lack of job ravaging Nigeria.

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Whatever reason it may be the fact still stand that waste managementis a lucrative business that Will keep pumping money for entrepreneur who are ready to get their hand dirty. Also due to it low competition, it is easy to make it out quickly in this business.

Steps to starting waste management business in Nigeria

Feasibility study

Before embarking on any business it is important to carry out Feasibility study, to check how feasible the business will be in a chosen location. What work for Paul might not work for john because their location differs.


Before you start feasibility study, choose from the chain of waste management business, what I mean is that do you want your business to operate as a waste picker, middle man or recycler. Once you make your choice answer the following questions

Is there a lot of solid waste in your location?

Is there enough manpower in your location?

Is there a market for solid waste in your location?

How is competition in your location?

Do you have enough capital?

Business plan

Don’t operate your business like a layman write a business plan of how you will move from one milestone to another, you can project it to 3-5 years. Also if you will like to take loan or investment in the future your business plan will help you out.

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Register your company with corporate affairs commission (CAC)

To have a legal business you need to register your business, this will help you to avoid future confrontation with the authority.

Also it will help you to claim some benefit from the government like Covid 19 relief fund for business in 2021.

Choose a location

Below are the factor to consider when choaing a location

How far it is to your raw materia (waste)?

How is the road network of that location?

Is the environment good for waste management business?

Obtain licence from government

Due to environmental effect of waste, It is require of entrepreneur to register with the appropriate agency before starting waste management business.

How and where to get the license differs in each state, but it is usually under ministry of environment.

If you will be operating  as a waste collector, you can take your time before collecting the license and for middle man you might not need it.

If your business is recycling, you must collect license from appropriate agency before you commence your business otherwise you risk confrontation from the government.

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Choose the part of the business you want to involve in

There are three chain of waste management business, Waste picking, waste handling and waste recycling.

Waste picking/collection

This involve picking of waste, it is easy to set up and require no capital if you are doing it alone.

It is advisable not to do it alone, you don’t want to start going from place to place picking waste, instead locate picker and buy from them or employ them.

Middle man

This also require low capital, but you must be able to network. If you chose this chain, your business is to connect waste collector to recycler.


This is capital intensive and require skill. If you chose this, your business is to recycle waste into new material with industrial machines.

If you do not have enough capital and knowledge don’t go into this, you can start from waste picking or middle man and grow into recycling.

Purchase equipment

Below are the equipment needed to start your waste management business

Waste Bag

Storage or container



Trash cans


Vehicle (optional)



Rubber boot

For Recycler

Waste sorting Machine

Waste pyrolysis plant

Waste distillation plant

Price of iron scrap, copper scrap, aluminum scrap

You can sell scrap iron at #900 to #1200 per kg depending on your location.

Scrap coper is the most valuable of the scrap metal you can sell it at #1700 per kg depending on your location.

Scrap aluminum command less price than the other, it goes for #400 to 700 per kg.

Problems you might encounter

Like every other business waste management has is own challenges that you need to pay attention to. Below are the challenges

People don’t know the important or economic value of waste management yet, so don’t be annoy when they look than on you, let your money do the talking.

Injury is common in waste management business, so kit up to reduce its occurrence.

People hate seeing sight of scraps, so chose your location wisely


To make it in waste management business is not hard, if you are ready to get your hand dirty, you will surely smile to bank.

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