SME Advisory

How to start a Waste Management Business in Nigeria


Waste can be defined as any material, substance that is no longer useful after being used for the completion of a process. An individual purchased a bottle of water, after drinking the water he disposes the container. The container here is regarded as waste. Waste is an item or substance that is discarded after primary use.

Types of waste includes:

  • Solid waste

As the name implies, solid waste are waste that are not in liquid form.  These type of waste are produced from our homes, offices, factories, schools, markets, farms and can be found anywhere in the environment. Solid waste is one of the most common waste in the world. Solid waste consists of Old furniture and beds, worn out tires, old newspapers, animal wastes e.g. animal bones e.t.c

  • Liquid waste

These are waste that are not in solid form but in fluid form. Some solid waste are converted to liquid waste in order to aid disposal. Liquid waste consists of wash water from residential houses, liquid waste from factories e.t.c

  • Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste are wastes that causes harm to the environment and those in it. Hazardous waste can take different forms, they could either be inflammable (can easily catch fire), corrosive (can easily eat through metal, toxic (poisonous). Some of these hazardous waste affect the ozone layer by gradually depleting it. Examples of hazardous waste are pesticides, insecticides, old fluorescent bulbs, aerosol cans, fire extinguishers, old batteries and mercury containing equipment.

  • Organic waste

Organic waste are waste that includes all animal and plants by-product or excreta. These includes excreta, feed waste, decaying plant materials etc. These kind of waste are biodegradable and can be easily converted to compost that can be applied to farms or gardens in order to aid in the growth of plants

In simple terms waste management deals with the recycling of waste. The waste management business is gaining momentum in Nigeria because it is a very profitable one.  Apart from being a profitable business, it also allows the environment we are living in to be free from harmful waste materials that can cause pollution and harm to our environment and health.

On a daily basis, tons of waste are generated in the country. Waste management business does not require a high cost of capital and the raw materials are readily available everywhere in the environment. Waste management business in Nigeria requires in-depth knowledge and planning otherwise the capital invested in this business will turn out to be wasted. There are endless opportunities in the waste management business in Nigeria that one can tap into. With more Buildings springing up means more residents and an increase waste produced. The increase in the amount of waste produced makes the business profitable.

The following waste items are used in the waste management business

  • Plastic products
  • Wood
  • Wire
  • Cables
  • Rubber
  • Small electronic equipment
  • Batteries
  • Computer Keyboards
  • Cellular phones
  • Laptops and Desktops
  • Plastic water bottle
  • Electronics
  • Different kinds of paper
  • Metal Scrap
  • Glass
  • Polythene such as laundry bags, shopping bags, pure water sachets, yogurt wrappers, soft poly bags, hospital drip bags, popcorn wrapper, bread wrapper and cellophane
  • Aluminium
  • Textiles
  • Food leftovers waste
  • Twigs
  • All leaves
  • And any other garden waste decomposed by worms for conversion into fertilizers.

Your trade customers as a waste management organization might include:

  • Offices and shops
  • Farmers
  • Food and catering businesses that need to dispose of animal by-products and food waste
  • Factories and workshops
  • Garages and car repair businesses
  • doctors surgeries and clinics
  • Building firms
  • Organisations such as local authorities, colleges, hospitals, schools e.t.c


You can start the following waste management businesses in Nigeria

  • Plastic recycling plant

This deals with the collection of plastic items such used for soft drinks, chairs etc. This is one of the most common waste management business. Plastics collected can be recycled to chairs and nylon bags

  • Waste collection centre

A waste collection centre can also be referred to as a garbage site where people bring goods that can be recycled in exchange for a fee

  • Scrap metal depot

This deals part of machinery and equipment that are useless. Scrap metals are usually expensive than plastics and it is also more lucrative than most of other recyclable products

  • Bio-fuel production depot

A Bio-fuel production depot deals with collection of bio-fuel which is gotten from waste. Bio-fuel serves as alternatives to kerosene, petrol and diesel and it can be used to power machineries.

  • Sale of waste management equipment and machineries

Instead of dealing with waste materials, you could decide to sell waste management equipment. You can build strong network with those in the industry and sell waste management equipment and machineries to them in order to make your gain

  • Cleaning of tanks, ships and large containers

Another lucrative business in the waste management industry is the cleaning of vessels of oil and gas companies, tanks and large containers

  • Collection of rubber and recycling plant

This deals with collection of rubber waste and recycling them into products such as floor surfaces, railroad tiles, quality and durable plastics. This is also another waste management business that brings profit

  • Mobile Toilet Rental Business

Renting of mobile toilets by companies, churches, organizations for occasions has been on the rise. This is also a lucrative business

  • Residential garbage collection business

This deals collecting the garbage and waste by residential environments who are seeking for ways to ensure that their environments are clean. You can render waste management services to estates and other serene environments

  • Electronic waste collection and recycling plant

This deals with the collection of electronic waste such as phones, gadgets, televisions, radios, computers etc. these kind of items are demanded by manufacturers of electronics and they are willing to pay high costs for them

  • Medical and toxic waste disposal business

This deals with collection and the disposal of medical wastes such as syringes, cotton wools, bandages, overalls, gloves. Hospitals and clinics are seeking for reliable sources that will aid in the disposal of such items without creating public health concerns

  • Disposable waste bag manufacturing business

One of the most convenient ways of disposing waste is through the use of disposable bags that are reliable and cost effective. They are used in many homes and corporations

  • Professional cleaning service

Another waste management business is offering professional cleaning services to the society.  It involves sourcing cleaning services to residential environments and corporate organizations in order to maintain cleanliness

  • Oil recycling collection business

This deals with collection of oil used in factories, restaurants, catering businesses, homes and using them to manufacture bio-fuel. You can start this by creating an avenue for people to sell their remnant oil instead of disposing it.

  • Paper recycling business

Collection of paper waste which amounts a high number in the waste industry can be recycled in order to make tissue papers

  • Oil spill cleaning service

Nigeria oil and gas producing companies experience oil spillage which is detrimental to the environment. The Niger Delta region in Nigeria is mostly covered with oil spillage. This is a creative business opportunity that is very profitable. An the average oil spillage contract ranges from 5 to 25 years

  • Clothes recycling business

Used and old clothes can also be recycled into reusable items such as mattresses, rugs, clothes.

  • Industrial waste disposal business

Most factories generate a large amount of industrial waste which is hazardous to the environment. They hardly use these waste and are on the lookout for those who will pick up their waste. You could pick it up and resell to other waste management businesses that are in need of it

  • Battery recycling business

This is another recycling business that involves the collection of batteries and selling them to companies that would revive the dead batteries

  • Construction waste recycling business

During construction of buildings, there are always waste materials such as wood, concrete, aluminium, steel, nails, ceramic tiles etc. you organization could offer to clean up the construction site for a fee and also resell the waste products


Before starting your own waste management business in Nigeria, there are certain steps, procedure and guidelines that one must follow in order to avoid any hiccup in the business. These procedures includes

  • Decide on your area of specialization

Before starting out a waste management business, you should pick field in the waste management industry that you want to specialize in. The niche or waste management services you will render might depend on your finances, location and the scope of your business. There are different type of waste management business that one can indulge in. They include

  1. Toxic or hazardous waste disposal
  2. Medical waste disposal of items like needles, medical gadgets etc.
  3. Electronic waste disposal of items like computer parts and phones
  4. Metal parts disposal of items like refrigerator, fan, parts of cars and motorcycles etc.
  5. Green waste management
  6. Household waste disposal of items like newspapers, rotten vegetables
  7. Chemical waste disposal
  8. Biomedical waste disposal
  9. Construction waste disposal

After deciding on the services you want to offer there are different aspects to processing the waste. They include:

  • Gathering wastes by yourself and selling them

This is common in Nigeria as scavengers with wheelbarrows by off from those willing to sell. Another example is those in mini trucks that collect from homes too. This requires very little capital to start

  • Buying from waste sellers and reselling to recycling companies

In this scenario, you serve as the middle man buying from scavengers of waste products and reselling at a higher price to recycling companies in order to make your profit

  • Gathering or buying waste products and processing to new products

This requires a higher cost of capital than the two mentioned above because it requires having your own company, staffs and equipment in order for you to be able to process waste products into new products. This is the most profitable method of starting a waste management business.

  • Develop a business plan

After the prospective owner of the business has made up their mind on the waste management business services they want to offer, the next step is to develop a comprehensive and well detailed business plan. A business plan will guide the owner of the business on what to achieve, finance costs and it also serves as a template that attracts investors or can be used to apply for loans. A comprehensive business plan consists of

  1. Executive summary (This will be done after the plan is written)
  • Business Overview
  • Market Overview: The Opportunity & Solution
  • Competition
  • Financial Highlights
  • Our Ask
  1. The company overview

This is the introduction and description of your company. It covers the following details

  • Mission and vision
  • Overview of company history/capabilities
  • Product description and present stage of development
  • Competitive advantage (what’s different or better than competition)
  • Past customers and performance (if applicable)
  • Legal entity, hours of operation, location description and attributes
  • Structure & Ownership
  • Management Team
  • Intellectual property status (if applicable)
  • Commercialization strategies (if applicable – timeframe and actions to move from idea to marketplace
  1. Product and services

This covers the following:

  • Definition of Products or Services to be Sold
  • Product Viability
  • Technology
  1. Industry analysis, market analysis and marketing strategy
  2. Swot analysis
  3. Market analysis
  • Market size(Estimate of the total market size for the product or service and trends
  • Quantification of the size of each market segment in terms of (Naira spent, units used, number of people, percent of income etc.)
  • Competition to the business
  • Market Segmentation and Demographics
  • Customer Profile(Actual and potential purchasers of product or services by market segments)
  • Barriers to Entry
  1. Marketing/sales plan
  2. Management and operations
  3. Summary of risks involved
  4. Professional and advisors
  5. Financials
  • Cash flow projection and/or existing (3 years) with breakeven analysis
  • Income/Expense projection and/or existing (3 years with ratios and benchmarks to industry)
  • Sources and uses of funds (funds needed, owner equity, how funds will be used/start-up cost analysis
  1. Funding
  • Amount of Money Sought
  • Use of Proceeds
  1. Project implementation schedule if any
  • Register your business name

Registering your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria will enable your company to be regarded as a separate entity that is different from its owners. It will also lead to quick acceptance by clients. You can register your company as a limited liability company. . The following are the requirements for registering your company as a limited liability company

  1. The first step required by the applicant is to choose two suitable proposed names for the company. Where this is done, an availability check will be conducted on the CAC online portal to find out if the name is available and not already in use.
  2. Choosing the type of company to be registered whether a private limited company or private unlimited company or company limited by guarantee.
  3. The objectives and business of the company must be provided.
  4. The registered principal address of the company.
  5. The share capital and shareholding formula among shareholders will be required.
  6. The particulars of a minimum of two (2) Directors will be required. A copy of their means of identification such as voter’s card, national ID, drivers’ license or international passport.
  7. Particulars of the company secretary (one of the directors may also act as the Secretary of the company)
  8. The applicant will be required to furnish details of the shareholders of the company. Details such as names, occupation, residential address, email address, mobile phone number and means of identification such as driver’s license, international passport or national identity card. It should be noted that the directors listed can also hold the capacity of shareholders in the company if desired.
  9. The memorandum and Articles of association of the company to be registered which is advisable to be drafted professionally by a Legal Practitioner. However, the CAC has provided a generic MEMART, which any new company can be adopted.

After which a consultant will prepare the following incorporation documents. They include

  • Duly verified particulars of the director and statement of share capital known as CAC Form 1.1
  • Duly stamped Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • The individual completes all the incorporation documents with the input of an accredited lawyer to duly attest to the incorporation documents.
  • The payment of the prescribed fees will now be duly made online and the incorporation documents immediately stamped online.
  • The stamped incorporation documents will now be duly uploaded into the CAC online portal again for the final review of the commission
  • If all the incorporation documents are well completed and executed, the commission will incorporate the company and issue an incorporation number immediately online.
  • Certificate of Incorporation and the Certified True Copies of the other documents will be issued by CAC and received by the consultant or lawyer, usually in less than 48 hours after the company is duly incorporated by CAC
  • Get permit from the local government or state government

After registering your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria, the next step for you to take is the get the necessary permits and licenses from your local government. In Abuja, you will need to register under the Environmental Waste Management Board. You will be given certain conditions that you’re meant to adhere to including an amount that is to be paid monthly. In Lagos state, you will have to partner with Lagos State Waste Management Association (LAWMA)

  • Raise capital

After developing your business plan, you should have an estimate of the cost that will be borne when starting your waste management business. Finance or capital is the backbone of any business, without it actions won’t be carried out. One can get finances from

  • Self-financing
  • Families and friends
  • Seeking bank loans
  • Grant from government environmental agencies
  • Private investors
  • Procuring waste materials

After deciding the aspect of waste management you want to deal with, the next step for you to take is to decide on how you will source out your waste materials for your own processing. Waste materials can be gotten from

  1. Garbage sites
  2. Waste sellers
  3. Residential abodes
  4. Refuse dumps
  5. Factories etc.
  6. Determine your pricing

The next step for you to take is to determine the price that you will charge to your clients on the waste. You need to determine how much you will charge the household, factories and companies. You may charge the amount based on their size or the weight of the waste

  • Purchase the necessary equipment and vehicles

As part of the cost of starting up a waste management business, certain equipment and vehicles will be needed in the course of work. They include

  1. Waste collection truck                 N2,000,000
  2. Biomass Carbonization machine N7,000,000
  3. Waste sorting machine N10,000,000
  4. Carbon black processing plant N6,000,000
  5. Waste distillation plant N18,000,000
  6. Waste plastic pyrolysis plant N15,000,000
  7. Waste plastic recycling plant N11,000,000
  8. Overall
  9. Boots
  10. Face masks
  11. Hand gloves
  12. Shovels
  13. Wheel barrows
  • Rent an office space

An office space that is easily accessible to clients is very important.  An office where negotiations will be carried out, receipts will be issued and other administrative activities will also be done. The office location could be situated in highly populated areas with lots of residents

  • Produce customized waste bins and plates

This can also be referred to as branding. Producing branded waste bins with your company’s unique logo for your Customers attracts them. This can be done by creating unique designs that will give you an edge over your competitors.

  • Hire employees

Another step is to hire workers for your waste management business.  The success of your business is also dependent on the people that you hire, which is why you need to hire the right people. You will hire the services of waste collectors, drivers and other administrative duties.

Personnel can be gotten through

  1. Posting about the vacancy on your website and across any social media or email marketing channels
  2. Asking your business network, as well as friends and family if they know anyone suitable
  3. Adding the vacancy to general recruitment websites
  4. Advertising the vacancy in industry trade media or local newspapers
  • Market and promote your business

This deals with advertising your business by informing people about what you do. You can market your business by

  1. Launching a website or a mobile application
  2. Distributing fliers
  3. Creating a unique business name
  4. Developing an attractive logo
  5. Place adverts on ICT magazines and related newspapers, radio stations and TV stations
  6. Encouraging your customers to make referrals on your behalf
  7. Leveraging on social media platforms and advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn in order to promote your business
  • Launch your business and maintain your reputation

After all procedures have been carried out, the owner of the business can launch it and ensure that it abides to the rules and regulations governing it. You must also ensure that you deliver excellent services to your clients and customers

  • Planning for business expansion

After launching your business and you are already having a good reputation, a waste management business known for its excellent services. You can decide to further expand the business by acquiring new trucks and employees or by adopting a new category of the waste management business


The waste management business has the potential to make millions of naira to the business owner if the right steps and measures are taken. Utilizing a large amount of waste and transforming it into a usable product is a good deed for the environment as well as a business. With the right information, you can be part of this fast-growing industry. It is important for you to carry out a well detailed research if you want to venture in the waste management business in Nigeria. For more information on how to start a waste management business in Nigeria, contact us on  08023200801, 08075765799, Email:

About the author

Onamakinde Dare Daniel is a highly motivated accountant with knowledge in Accounting, Taxation, Management, Audit, Costing and Research. He is keen on tax matters due to its ever dynamic nature.

Error: Contact form not found.




4 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments