Tips before venturing into garbage collection business

Every human being desires to reside in a clean environment. Yet in many estates in urban centres, mounds of garbage remain strewn around and uncollected for days, creating an eyesore and posing health hazards. But on that foul-emitting rubbish rests a business opportunity that you can exploit. You can run a garbage collection service that would earn you money while keeping the environment clean. Here are some tips on how to go about it.

What you need

Nema licence or county permit

Visit the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) for licensing as a garbage collector. You’ll require a logbook to an enclosed truck and to pay a licence fee. You should also obtain a county government permit. In obtaining the permit, enquire from the town’s zoning departments on the possibility of collecting garbage in your desired address.

Landlords’ cooperation

The success of this type of business hinges largely on creating good working relationships with landlords. Your first step will be to identify a residential house in need of your services and then meet the landlord or agent and convince them on the need to engage you for garbage collection, especially where the county government’s similar services are erratic. The landlord instructs tenants to put their garbage at a particular spot in the compound on specific days. They will then collect the fee from each tenant alongside the rent and remit it to your account. The fee can range from Sh100 upwards per tenant monthly. Set the fee after ascertaining that you will meet the overhead costs and make a profit while at the same time beating competition.

Garbage collectors

If you will not do the actual job of garbage collection, you will have to hire a responsible employee who will carry out the work meticulously. Littering the place while you are meant to leave it clean will certainly rob you of clients. The worker also needs to have good customer relations skills as they will have to engage the tenants while working and should also know the estate well.

Garbage bins or bags

Meet the client’s every need by supplying them with disposable bags where they can stash garbage daily for ease during collection. You can buy the bags in wholesale and resell to tenants at a profit.

Authorities’ support

It is advisable to meet the local Nyumba Kumi chairman or the community members who assist assistant chiefs so that you can have their backing. They would come in hardy in settling disputes that may arise between you and clients. For security reasons, it is important that they know about your presence in the estate.

Dumping or recycling site

A dumping ground is a must for this job. Talk to the county government for permission to use their site. If you have the capacity, you can also set up your own recycling outfit.

What you don’t need

Own vehicle

Whereas this business is not capital intensive, purchasing your own garbage collection vehicle will cost you a pretty penny. Save on that by leasing a vehicle only on the day and hours you will be actually working.

Full-time workers

Only engage workers on the days you collect the garbage. This will help lower your overheads.