Turning waste to wealth is one of the most lucrative business enterprises in the modern world, especially as people are now becoming more aware of the dangers most materials hold for the natural environment. One of such materials commonly recycled is rubber, and it is fast becoming a great business opportunity for more businesspersons, companies and governments all over the world. At the moment, rubber recycling contributes significantly to the growth of economies of both developed and developing nations of the world.
As of 2017, the global value of rubber recycling and tyre management was around $7.6 billion and, going by the current market behaviour, is likely to pique at $10 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 4.5%. European and North American countries, including Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Italy and the USA are some of the front liners in rubber and tyre recycling. This is mostly because the recycled rubber waste is put to greater use, and there is the availability of adequate equipment, mechanisms and experts required to turn waste rubber to useful resources needed for everyday living, functioning and productivity. On the other hand, developing countries such as most Asian and African countries are far behind the rest of the world in rubber recycling.
However, there is tremendous potential for a rubber recycling business in Nigeria. The most common type of waste rubber resources is tyre, and there are tons of them lying around in almost every street in the country. In most industrial parts of the country, including places like Onitsha, Port-Harcourt, Owerri, Ibadan, Lagos and Abuja, among others, tyres are piled in heaps. According to reports, nothing short of 259 million tyres are tossed away every year in Nigeria, assumed that they are completely useless. The fact that they are readily available, cheap, durable and extremely useful makes them a huge source of profit when recycled.
It is interesting that not many businesspersons have realised the utility level of rubber recycling. Rubber could be processed into resources such as fuel, crumbs, oil, and could also be exported for more refined uses. If you have discovered the lucrative opportunities in rubber recycling and would like to start up a business enterprise in the field, here’s a detailed guide for you.
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What Is Rubber?
Rubber is an elastic polymer substance obtained from the rubber plant. There is also the synthetic rubber used mainly in the production of petroleum and other fuel substances. Rubber is typically tough, resilient and elastic, and this explains why it is used to produce tyres for automobiles as well as other items such as gloves and protective items.
What Is Rubber Recycling?
Rubber recycling describes the process involved in processing waste rubber products such as tyre into useful materials that could be used for the manufacturing of other products. These products are useful in several industries ranging from the automobile to the clothing industry. The rubber recycling business is not just a highly lucrative business but also an effort toward saving nature from the adverse effects of waste rubber materials.
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Business Opportunities In Rubber Recycling Business In Nigeria And Around The World
1). Collection Of Rubber Wastes:
One of the job openings and business opportunities created by rubber recycling is the scouting and collection of rubber waste from the nooks and crannies of the cities and towns. Collecting waste is a highly tasking job, so you need to employ the services of young, agile people to do the dirty work for you. In most parts of Nigeria, these collectors work as loose employees. They often have their own pull-trucks and collect different materials or sometimes focus on one type of waste material. In this case, you could contact those who collect tyre and other rubber materials and pay them daily based on the quantity and volume of collected waste.
2). Processing Services:
At the point of processing, rubber recycling requires a handful of trained personnel to operate the recycling plant, monitor, and see to the smooth processing of waste rubber into required resources or final products.
Perhaps the most lucrative aspect of rubber recycling, exporting processed rubber waste to countries where they are further refined into finished products is a significant business opportunity for individuals and firms. A single tonne of rubber waste sold for over N623,000 as of October 2020 in export value.
4). Repairs and Maintenance:
From time to time, the appliances and plants used to process rubber waste into useful products are bound to develop faults or require checkup. It is best to keep expert engineers and technicians around to conduct regular professional repairs and maintenance on the equipment for effective functioning. In a way, the rubber recycling business also ensures paychecks for repair and maintenance personnel.
Facts And Benefits Of Rubber Recycling
- Recycling tyres makes the environment cleaner and more habitable.
- Recycling rubber reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Recycling reduces the need to plant new rubber tree plantations
- Tyres produce a low amount of sulphur when burned.
- About 30 million scrap tyres are retreaded each year in the United States.
- Rubber is used on surfaces on sports playground for elasticity.
- Rubber is equally useful in handcraft projects like shoe soles, doormats, silo covers, etc.
- Europe and North America are at the forefront of rubber recycling in the world.
- Close to 260 million tyres are discarded in Nigeria each year.
- Rubber is essential for certain minor tasks such as cleaning off marks.
- Charles Goodyear started the process of using vulcanisation to make rubber stronger and firmer.
- Over 90% of global natural rubber comes from plantations in Asia.
- The first rubber company ever was founded in Paris, France, in 1803.
- Rubber latex is white, but a dark carbon filler is added to make them stronger.
- Rubber products today contain only 40% natural rubber.
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Types Of Rubber
1). Natural Rubber:
This is the unprocessed latex substance derived directly from the rubber tree. The rubber plants are found predominantly in South-East Asia, Africa and the Amazon. The molecular constituents of the latex tubes called polymers are responsible for the elasticity of rubber. At this stage, rubber is rather sticky and not firm or strong yet until it is processed.
2). Synthetic Rubber:
Synthetic rubber is the artificial rubber made from elastomer, a chemical substance used as a replacement for natural rubber. However, there are diverse kinds of polymer used in rubber production. This depends largely on the purpose the rubber is meant to serve.
3). Vulcanised Rubber:
Vulcanised rubber is more like a derivative of natural rubber. In its natural state, rubber is less useful because it lacks firmness. The addition of chemicals such as sulphur improves its industrial value.
How To Start A Rubber Recycling Plant In Nigeria: A Step-By-Step Guide
1). Create A Business Plan:
The starting point of your journey to a successful rubber recycling business is an excellent business plan. This will include all the goals, key decisions and budget of the business.
2). Get A Business Site:
A rubber recycling business requires a business site which may also double as the rubber collector. The size of the site depends on the scale of the company. Notwithstanding, it must be situated in an industrial area where collectors can reach easily.
3). Locate Rubber Waste Sources:
In major towns and cities, the local waste management body should be aware of specific areas where rubber waste can be found. Where this does not apply, you would have to contract experts to comb the area for major sources of tyre.
4). Set Up The Recycling Plant And Other Equipment:
This is the point where you invest heavily, especially if you plan to go fully large-scale. Procure the needed equipment and machines. A full pyrolysis recycling plant on Alibaba costs within $25,000 to $70,000 depending on the components. Other equipment include a double shift shredder, grinders, etc. These devices are capital-intensive, but you could start by collecting rubber waste and exporting them to countries where they will be processed. On the other hand, you could partner with established local rubber recycling companies.
5). Employ The Services Of Rubber Waste Collectors:
Where number 4 above does not apply, you will need to contract local collectors to scout the areas and collect rubber waste for you. If you can, employ them on a permanent basis and equip them with the right tools such as pull-trucks, hooks, gloves and boots, etc.
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Challenges Of Rubber Recycling Plant Business In Nigeria
- Rubber recycling is capital-intensive
- Difficulty in reaching international companies for processing
- Unfavourable government policies on the international market
- Low government support
- Insufficient loan facilities for dealers in the rubber recycling business
- Lack of trust between rubber collectors and investors
- High cost of maintaining a recycling plant and other machines
- Poor road network for transporting collected rubber waste
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To Sum It Up
The recycling business is, no doubt, a profit mine for interested businesspersons. Due to its heavy capital requirement, most people are scared away from rubber recycling, and that only makes it more lucrative and less competitive for investors. The rubber recycling business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide network. If you’re looking for a lucrative business to venture into, the rubber recycling business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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