Vanis Buckholz's Tips for Starting Your Own Recycling Business


Vanis Buckholz started a recycling business, MyReCycler and now uses some of the proceeds to help homeless families. Live Life and Win! asked Vanis how other people could get started with their own business.

Here are four easy ways to start your own recycling business.

1. Save your own recycling.  

This is the first step and it’s real easy.  Just look at everything you throw away and find the stuff that is recyclable.  Instead of throwing it the trash, just set it aside in a bin (like a garbage can).  If you are saving different items like glass, aluminum, plastic, etc. then sort them and store them separately.   

2. Pick up recyclable trash everywhere you see it.  

This is something everyone can do.  If you just keep your eyes open and look around you’ll start seeing recyclable trash lying around.  Keep a plastic bag in the car and on your bike or scooter so when you find something it’s easy to take back home.  In parking lots, playgrounds, by the curbs, at the beach or wherever people go you can usually find trash worth recycling.  It’s also good to just be someone who cares about where they live and helps to keep it clean.

3. Ask your family, friend and neighbors to save their recycling for you.  

If you want to start collecting even more, then tell others what you are doing, why you are doing it and how they can help you.  It’s important that you make it easy for them. You need to tell them what specially you recycle and how you will get the recycling from them.  If you are going to be picking it up from them you need to set up a pick up spot and a regular day and time that you will be there.  If they are going to bring the recycling to you you’ll need to have a good drop off spot that won’t be in anybody’s way.  You need to keep your drop off spot clean and organized because it is your business and you want it to look right.

4. Ask your local businesses if they would collect their recyclables for you.   

This is the next big step.  It can seem a bit nervous at first but you can do it.  Start by making a flyer about your business.  Your business can have a name or it can just be your name.  You’ll need a phone number and maybe an email address so your customers can communicate with you. 

When you go to meet a business it’s important to always say hello and introduce yourself.  That means tell them your name, about your business and that you would like to talk to them about recycling. 

With business customers, you will always need to pick up at their location.  You may even have to give them a bin or container for them to store the recycling until you pick it up.  You will need to set a specific pick up schedule that works good for them.  It is really really important that you never miss a pick up.  The business is counting on you and you need to show them that you are dependable.  Make sure the pick-up spot is always clean and organized. 

The last thing to do is the most important – make sure you always thank your customer for supporting your business.   

 There is one extra thing that I did that you might want to think about doing too.  With the money you will make from the recycling, you can give some of it to a charity that you like and feel good about.  It can be anything.  Maybe the charity you pick is about caring for kids, or animals, or clean water, or education or the rain forest or hunger.  Whatever charity you pick it should be something special to you.  All of your customers will appreciate that your business helps the environment and that you care about giving back to other causes as well.   

Check out Vanis’s MyRecycler Facebook page here.