Friday, February 17, 2012

Recycling Profit - Endorsing Recycling in Your Business Practices

By Leo Thomas    

A Guide to Generating More Revenue from Your Existing Operations
The business of recycling is constantly expanding. It is easily one of our fastest growing industries. From recycling metals and plastic, to organic waste for composting, there seems to be no end in sight for those interested in being a part of an industry whose growth continues to expand. The number of recycling opportunities can only be matched by the number of new products that continue to come out on the consumer market.
Companies can now take part in this growing industry by looking at their own operations to see if there is any way to generate revenue from recycling. Even furniture manufacturers use scrap wood from production to sell as kindling for fire places. Companies that use metal such as copper, nickel, and brass for plating purposes, use the sludge generated from operations to sell as scrap. Old catalytic carburetors from cars are known to contain both platinum and nickel. Platinum is actually one of the most expensive metals in the world. Companies that recycle plastic would be interested in everything from used plastic toys to the scrap plastic generated by manufacturers of DVDs and CDs. The pricing for all these items varies according to the quality of the material. Obviously, some materials garner higher prices than others, but all generate some return. Even paper and cardboard can fetch over £50.00 a ton, with certain grades of office paper potentially worth more. It is rather obvious that there is money to be made in recycling. That being the case, how can you go about looking into generating revenue from recycling in your own operations, or from your own customers?

Take the time to look at your product offerings.
What kind of products does your company manufacture or provide? What kind of customers do you service? If you service business to business customers, you may be able to generate revenue from scrap, provided you could find some way to take back the used product from your customer. For instance, if you manufactured or distributed specialized lamps with mercury inside them, you could probably charge your customer a fee to have them returned to your company to have them properly disposed of. Most companies have to pay a local fee to have materials like this properly disposed of. In some cases, those fees can be quite high. However, if you did your homework, you might actually be able to offer them a reduction in those fees, and generate a small profit for your company. How about if you manufactured products from plastic? There are plenty of applications for recycled plastic. Take the time to look at the materials your company uses. Does it make sense for you to take back the used parts once your customer finishes with them?

Look at the cost of securing the scrap.
What is the cost of securing the scrap for your company? Are most of your customers in close proximity to your location? If so, do you deliver your products to them? All of these conditions should be considered. If you take care of delivering product to your customers, you might be able to pick up the used material at the same time.  If most of your customers are in the same geographical location, then you'll probably be able to do a milk run and pick up from a number of customers at one time. There are a number of ways to secure the scrap.

It bestows an image of being an environmentally friendly organization.
Being environmentally conscious can pay huge dividends for your enterprise. If your company is active in your community and propagates an image of being environmentally friendly, you may just find customers willing to give you their scrap for free. A perfect example of this would be those previously mentioned companies that recycle optical media products, like CDs and DVDs. Consumers who want to properly dispose of these products, and don't want to see them sitting in landfills, are more than willing to send them to you if they know you will properly dispose of them. These can actually be sold as scrap plastic and generate some favorable pricing on the scrap market.

We all understand what it means to minimize our carbon footprint and the importance of being environmentally conscious. It can also be a good source of revenue for companies who manufacture or distribute products. Every single piece of scrap can generate some kind of return. It's best to take the time to look at your product offerings and see if there is anyway to generate some revenue from your existing operations and customer base.

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