Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Waste Recycling Business in the United Kingdom

Starting a Waste Recycling Business in the United KingdomAny form of business starts with an idea, which builds up into something huge. When you think of starting a waste recycling business in the United Kingdom, it’s always about making profits and solving waste management issues. For you to succeed in this venture, you must put in some hard work and commitment.

Here’s a guide on starting a waste recycling business in the United Kingdom.


Industry Practice

The waste management industry in the United Kingdom is huge and provides the most essential services from decontamination and remediation across the population. Due to public concerns over environmental issues, a growing population, and the increasing development of brownfield sites, much more is happening in waste management.

The United Kingdom is the 3rd largest B2C eCommerce market globally, with over 18% of online retail sales and 1.9 billion parcels yearly. With that in mind, it is right to claim that the United Kingdom’s recycling infrastructure is having difficulty dealing with the influx of more packing materials.

We see several manufacturers now looking for innovative ways to minimize the volume of single-use and disposable goods right in the beginning. Again, individuals are motivated to do their part within the home and workplace to reduce their waste output. Today, the United Kingdom government has an environmental policy that requires recycling a minimum of 50% of its household waste. We see energy-from-waste where recycling companies are utilizing to turn waste into fuel by using electricity or heat.

The use of technology in the recycling industry, such as robots, is expected to be seen soon. Automation within this industry will surely revolutionize the recycling process. Therefore, if you’re looking forward to starting a waste recycling business in the United Kingdom, you must think through those lines.


Business Registration Process for Starting a Waste Recycling Business

Every new venture needs a learning process to understand the industry’s dynamics and regulations. Therefore, starting a waste recycling business in the United Kingdom may be a challenging venture based on its competitiveness.

We can have a look at what you need to do to start a waste recycling business.

Register Your Business

The first step is crucial before rolling out your plan to register your business. You must prepare all the legal, and statutory documents before presenting them to the relevant authorities. Again, go ahead and find out within your local authority which are the correct permits and licenses for the business. Likewise, you must identify which is the right legal entity to register your company. Most of the waste recycling businesses in the United Kingdom are limited companies. The reason behind it is that it’s capital and labor-intensive. Therefore, you have to begin the process of United Kingdom company incorporation much earlier so that you can roll out your plan.

Getting the Right Equipment and Premises

A waste recycling business requires you to have a premise where you’ll do the recycling. Begin by finding out how to acquire a premise and vehicles for your business. It could be for storage and sorting facilities or a small lock-up for smaller-scale recycling. Consequently, you have to remember that the premises and the vehicles will come with their own set of regulations. Therefore, you have to research these regulations and find out which ones are relevant to your business. Alternatively, you can always seek the assistance of a United Kingdom corporate service provider such as 3E Accounting when it comes to regulations.

Do Your Target Market Research

Before diving into this venture, you must do thorough market research on the industry. Starting a waste recycling business in the United Kingdom involves dealing with different types of materials. You must be aware of the recycling programs where the total cost depends on the kind of materials you’re processing. Therefore, you must pick a niche and run away with it. Pick materials that are easy to process and will be easy to sell.

Subsequently, you must be aware of your competitors within the area you’ll be operating. Get to understand whether there is enough volume to support multiple recycling businesses. Or whether the types of materials you pick are both profitable and competitive. Find out the pricing and the variety of materials your competitors are recycling. Know the demand for the services within that same area in which you’re operating.

Pricing Policy

You must set up your pricing policy when you have already registered your business and have an existing premise. Are you going to charge the same price as your competitors are not? What will the fees be based on? For you to do so, you have to do your costing well. You will base it on the processing facility, number of employees, and utilities. Remember, your prices must be competitive to attract more clientele.

Employment Laws/Acts

When you decide to employ staff in your business venture, the law requires you to abide by the Employment Act. The rules are meant to protect employees from hiring practices conducted in the workplace and fair pay. Again, employees are safeguarded by the Health & Safety laws as members have a right to work in a safe environment. Common areas covered by the law include employment contracts, equal pay, holiday entitlement, grievance, and working hours.

Insurance Policy

Without a doubt, the waste management and recycling industry is a high-risk venture. Therefore, you must take up an insurance policy to cover your business and yourself from any eventualities. You can decide on the type of insurance that suits your business which may include:

  • Public Liability: This policy covers any legal liability to third parties coming out of your business. For instance, a member of the public may accidentally get injured or killed on your premises.
  • Employers Liability: this is a compulsory cover by law, and it protects you if an employee is injured or gets seriously ill while working at your premises.
  • Premises: this will cover you against damage to your buildings
  • Plant insurance: the policy will cover you for loss or damage to your own mechanical plants, tools, and equipment.

You can always check a guide to company registration in the United Kingdom from the government website.

Develop a Solid Business plan

For a venture of this nature, you must develop a solid business plan that will take you through the growth process. Therefore, your business plan must have a clear business overview from its legal structure to location, type of entity, and means of doing business. Additionally, it would be best to have your operational, competitive, financial, and marketing strategies in place. Your business plan must boldly state how you will handle your challenges and opportunities when they fall due.


Licenses, Permits, and Regulations

If you’re planning on starting a waste recycling business in the United Kingdom, first, you must understand the business waste recycling laws. The laws and regulations are aimed at controlling activities within waste management facilities.

The law requires that the license contain the conditions that SEPA regards necessary to prevent:

  • Pollution of the ecosystem
  • Human health
  • Severe detriment to the amenities of the locality

The licensing regulation requires that all facilities involved in the disposal of waste must include conditions to cover:

  • The category and quantities of waste
  • Any practical requirements
  • Security precautions
  • The site for disposal
  • Any treatment method

If you want to apply for the licenses, for instance, you can access the standard forms on SEPA’s website. Therefore, you’ll get more information about the guidance notes to aid you in completing the application form.

As an applicant, you must include the following information:

  • The facility location specifies any existing development within 250 meters of the borderline of the site. The ‘existing development consists of underground services where the facility is likely to result in disturbance or a source of spillages
  • Documentation of ownership of the site and applicant’s interest in the land
  • Any planning status of the site, plus copies of any permission
  • Information on the technical competence of the license holder and financial provision of the applicant
  • Any working plan that will cover the infrastructure and detailed descriptions of the waste management processes

Additional considerations for licensing for Starting a Waste Recycling Business

SEPA bases its regulation of waste inputs by reference to:

  • Storage capacity
  • The essence of waste segregation
  • The anticipated throughput of the site

The department is responsible for specifying the maximum amount of waste that may hold in storage at a given time. Therefore, as a businessman, you should show the records, among other things, and the amount of waste being held in storage. As an operator, you should, from time to time, clear and clean any storage bays.

Starting a Waste Recycling Business in the United Kingdom

If you’re looking to start a waste recycling business in the United Kingdom, you can contact 3E Accounting.