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How to make money through e Waste?

Updated on August 7, 2017

How to make money through e Waste Management? Become an Entrepreneur in e Waste Disposal and Recycling Business.

You might have thought of different ways to start a business and make money. It could be starting a Grocery store, Kindergarten class or marketing things on the internet. But have you ever wondered if you could make a good chunk of money through discarded mobile phones and electronic items? Sounds strange right? Yes. The e-Waste market is estimated to be worth around $50 billion in 2020 and in emerging economies like India, e-waste is predicted to grow at 30% annually.

E-Waste or Electronic Waste refers to discarded electronic or electrical devices. Computers, Mobile phones, entertainment devices, TV sets etc fall into this category. Since electronic/electrical are made up of raw materials that are scarce, e-Waste is normally recycled after use. Precious metals like Gold, silver, copper etc are also obtained through e-waste recycling. E-waste contains harmful substances such as Lead, beryllium, Cadmium etc. Dumping of e-waste in landfills and informal processing of e-waste in developing countries cause pollution and health hazards. In the informal sector, e-Waste is generally collected and printed circuit boards (PCB) in electronic devices are crushed or burnt to obtain the reusable components. Cathode Ray tubes (CRT) are the most difficult to recycle.

Today, Mobile phones and other electronic devices have become a luxury and people frequently switch to newer sets. As such, the scope for e-Waste collection and recycling becomes high, especially in developing countries such as India where a huge chunk of the population uses devices such as mobile phones, and where a substantial amount of used electronic equipment is imported from developed countries. The USA generates more than 3 million tonnes of e-Waste each year followed by China. China is also a dumping ground for e-Waste from developed countries. E waste management is a huge industry in countries like China and India. Entrepreneurs who took to e-Waste management early are millionaires today. There are home based e-waste firms that collect up to 1 kg of Gold a year from recycling of e-Waste. I have seen many small scale e-waste management entrepreneurs in India who make a minimum of INR 50,000 to INR 1,00,000 per month. Since IT/ITes sector is predominant in India, huge quantities of e-Waste are thrown away by corporates/MNCs each month.

There is also a huge market in India for assembled equipments that are made from recycled e- Waste

How to become an e-Waste Management entrepreneur?

E-Waste management is actually a flow consisting of different processes and stages. Please refer to above diagram for basic E-waste management. E-Waste management first starts with e-waste Collection. E Waste is collected from both retail and corporate users by collection agents. They are then distributed to e waste dismantling/recycling centers by distribution agents. Collection agents may normally do e-waste segregation themselves. Generally, big companies will hand over their e-Waste only to authorized collection agents who also own Recycling units. There are hundreds of e Waste recycling units in Bangalore Silicon City.


Sometimes one person may act as both Collector as well as distributor. One must own space as well as equipment to work as Dismantler/Recycler. Countries like India have labour cost advantage when it comes to e-Waste Recycling. Recyling Units will need to abide by environmental/pollution regulations

Build Contacts: To become a successful e-Waste entrepreneur, you must first build contacts. Have links with Scrap dealers in your city. They are repositories of e-Waste but they will not know how to deal with them. You can source e-Waste from such small dealers. If you manage to get contacts in an MNC and win their trust, you could obtain e Waste in bulk. IT companies and BPOs have a separate logistics division which deals with purchase and disposal of electronic stock like Personal computers. However, large companies/MNCs will generally deal only with authorized e-Waste handlers.

If you have adequate capital, you could start you own Dismantling/Recycling unit. Else, you can act as a distributor and supply e-waste to Recycling units

E- Waste management in India courtesy: Youtube

E-Waste startups

Today, government is encouraging Start ups in e-Waste management. Loans are also provided at concessional rates. Various state governments are providing skills training in e-Waste management to individuals. Many angel investors are ready to invest in e-Waste startups in India. Therefore this is the right time to setup your e-Waste startup

List of E-Waste management companies in India

Below are some of the E-Waste management companies in India

TIC Group India Pvt. Ltd, Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Plant Green Recycling Pvt, Ghaziabad, UP

Unique Echo Recycle, Indore, Madhya Pradesh

M/s Greenscape eco management Pvt. Ltd, Alwar, Rajasthan

Earth Sense Recycle Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon, Haryana

ECO Recycling Limited, Thane, Maharashtra

Hi-Tech Recycling India (P) Ltd, Pune, Maharashtra

Victory Recovery & Recycle Technologies India Pvt.Ltd, Thiruvallur, Tamilnadu

Global E-waste Management and Services (GEMS), Kancheepuram, Tamilnadu

E-parisaraa Private Limited, Bengaluru

Saahas Zero Waste Solutions, Bengaluru

Scrappy Recyclers, Bengaluru

e-Waste Quiz

Which of the below precious material is most abundant in a recycled mobile phone?

See results


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    • JvicIndia profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from India

      This should be very helpful for budding entrepreneurs. I have included tips for e Waste mgmt business especially in Indian scenario


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