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Part 1: Waste and Recycling – Huge Opportunities in an Evolving Industry

The environment is a concern for us at iServiceGlobe.  In fact, it is one of the primary reasons we developed a unique CRM solution for the Waste and Recycling Industry… but more on that another time.  I decided to write this blog about waste and recycling because of my passion and interest in get some important information out in the public about some of the facts surrounding current waste and recycling efforts throughout the globe.  In conducting my research to supplement this blog with some hard data, I found that there is a great deal of relevant information out there to share.  As a result, rather than inundate our readers with too much data, I turned this blog is a two part series.    

 Currently there is a cultural shift in societies throughout the world with people transitioning from lifestyles of consumption to lifestyles of sustainable consumption through conservation.  Despite this shift however, the world’s ability to manage this change is still limited.  Still, only 25% of the waste generated worldwide is recycled.  In the United States, we generate approximately .75 tons of waste per citizen.  Of the total waste generated in the country, we recycle about 33%.  Only 54% of all paper products are recycled in US.  While we may currently outpace the entire global average, there is literally “tons” of room for improvement.  Improving the percentage of waste that we recycle on an annual basis will be a strong statement in our efforts to be an example to the rest of the world as a leader in the environmental movement.

What we currently recycle

What we currently recycle can be broken down into two separate categories: 1.  Industrial/commercial materials and 2.  Household materials. 

Most industrial/commercial recycling includes: construction material and demolition debris; electronic waste such as computers, printers, mobile phones, etc.; paper and newsprint; rubber tires (and other crushed rubber material); textiles; and ship breaking

Most household  recycling includes material such as glass, steel, aluminum, plastic and timber

Recycling facts

There is a direct correlation between increased recycling and energy conservation and decreased pollution.

·         Recycled aluminum used in remanufacturing saves 95% energy and produces 95% less


·         Recycled paper saves 40% energy and produces 73% less air pollution

·         Recycled plastics saves 70% energy

·         Recycled iron saves 60% energy

Waste & Recycling industry facts

In the United States, the recycling industry currently provides 1.1 million jobs, generates approximately $240 billion in revenue, and spends close to $40 billion in payroll. There are about 56,000 public and private companies of varying sizes within this industry.

In other words, there are some huge opportunities within the Waste & Recycling industry providing a unique opportunity to make money while keeping the earth green.  There are still some challenges to overcome before companies can fully take advantage of these opportunities, however, the upside is huge.


·         Global demand for raw materials is driving the growth of the recycling industry

·         Rising commodity prices result in increased profitability in recycling

·         Increasing availability of new technologies for efficient and cost effective recycling


·         The waste and recycling industry is fractured in and consolidation has just begun

·         Margins in the industry are currently low

·         Price fluctuations for recycled materials are high


·         Consolidation by Merger & Acquisitions


·         Rising cost of wages and fuel

·         Obsolete systems and software

·         Tougher regulations

As you can see, the Waste and Recycling industry is in an interesting space right now.  There is plenty of room for consolidation, growth and increased operational efficiency.  Coupled with the growing global demand for environmentally friendly business practices, companies in this space have a lot to be excited about.  Tomorrow, in part 2, I will share some of my research about how some industry specific CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems could give some Waste and Recycling businesses a competitive advantage. 

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