Business Opportunities

Unlocking businesses in the waste management sector through information, knowledge and market intelligence. These 19 business opportunities are economic business models in the Egyptian recycling sector that can be up taken by startups and SMEs. These business opportunities turn waste through processing, recycling and upcycling into productive uses that have a positive impact on environment, economy, and society at large.

Only business opportunities under the current regulatory framework and an investment cap of up to 16 million EGP were considered. For the full study report, please click here.

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Fiberglass From Glass Waste

This business model focuses on reusing glass waste as a material feedstock. Fiberglass is a plastic reinforced with glass fibres. Fibreglass is used in many applications, such as storage tanks, insulation panels, and water pipes.

MDF From Mixed Agricultural Waste

This business model explores the use of agricultural waste as a feedstock for fiberboards production. Medium density fiberboards (MDF) is manufactured wood which is widely used in the Egyptian market. It is primarily used for flooring, furniture, and home accessories in furniture factories, workshops as well as carpenters.

Sorting and Dismantling E-Waste

This business model focuses on dismantling electronic-waste. Electronic-waste (e-waste) refers to discarded electronic devices such as computers, mobile phones, TV sets, Cathode Ray Tubes (screens) among others. The definition sometimes is extended to cover batteries. The end markets served are mainly previous and rare earth metals extracted from the e-waste and few valuable types of plastics.

Waste Tire to Carbon Black

This business opportunity relies on the pyrolysis technology. Pyrolysis is a thermos-chemical process that decomposes material at high temperature in the absence of oxygen and with the use of specific catalysts. Hydrocarbon based material decomposes in the process into liquid fuels and carbon black. Carbon black is a material in high demand by various industries including paint, dye, ink, tires, and plastics.

Waste Tires to Rubber Powder

This opportunity focuses on processing waste tires into rubber powder. Powdered tires can act as a replacement of virgin rubber used in manufacturing of many rubber products or even in the production of new tires. It can also be sold as high quality Tire Derived Fuel (TDF), an alternative fuel for energy intensive industries.

Waste Tires to Rubber Products

This business opportunity looks into rubber products produced from rubber powder from waste tires. Many products, which use virgin rubber as a raw material can use recycled tires instead. The easiest products include automobile floor mats, exercising and playground mats as well as rubber tiles.

Agro-Industrial Waste to Bakery Flavors

This business opportunity explores the extraction of citrus oil from waste citrus peels. Citrus oil is an essential oil that is extracted from citrus peels in a liquid form with a high density and concentration. Essential oils are used in many products including pest control, food industry additives, or medical applications. The level of purity, concentration and quality control determines the product grade.

Special Biochemical From Agro-Industrial Waste

This business opportunity is the most lucrative opportunity in the study. It explores extracting pectin powder from waste citrus peels. Pectin is a bio-chemical found in peels of many fruits, but mainly in citrus fruits. It is an essential food additive that serves as a gelling agent in the food production of jams, jelly candy, juices and other sweets. If further refined, it can also be sold as an additive in the cosmetic industry, however this is outside the scope of the current study.

Second Grade Tomato to Dried Tomato

This business opportunity focuses on using rejected tomatoes. Tomatoes are defined as refused or rejected when they are very small, smashed or over grown/ripe. Rejected tomatoes are normally disposed in wholesale markets in large quantities or in agro-industrial facilities. Rejected tomatoes can be dried to have a stronger flavour, better appearance and longer shelf-life. Dried tomatoes can be sold to restaurants or to final consumers through retailers.

MSW to Sorted RDF for Energy Intensive Industries

This opportunity focuses on alternative fuels, in specific refuse derived fuel (RDF) from municipal solid waste. Alternative fuels are generally used in energy intensive industries to partially replace coal and petcoke. The business opportunity relies in either selling it to RDF companies that shred it further to increase its value or directly to energy intensive factories (e.g. cement kilns) that shred the sorted RDF on site.

Municipal Solid Waste and Industrial Waste to Shredded Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) For Energy Intensive Industries

In this business opportunity, municipal solid waste and industrial waste is collected, segregated, and shredded to be sold as RDF for high energy intensive industries. The mixture of municipal solid waste and industrial waste depends on the humidity content and the requested calorific value of the RDF. In general, shredded RDF has a higher calorific value than sorted RDF and is an effective source of fuel for the energy intensive industries (e.g. cement kilns).

Agricultural Waste Torrefaction to Bio-Char

This business model focuses on torrefaction as a thermal treatment technology that increases the fuel quality of agricultural waste through anaerobic thermal treatment. As pyrolysis refers to heating in the absence of oxygen, torrefaction can be seen as a mild form of pyrolysis at temperatures of 200-320 degree Celsius. The agricultural waste is heated in reactors under the deficiency of oxygen at an atmospheric pressure. No additives are needed and the temperature is less than in the case of pyrolysis. In this business model, the final product is referred to as bio-char. Bio-char can be sold in small packages for personal use (e.g. barbeque, heating, etc.) or e sold in large quantities to energy intensive industries.

Aerobic Composting From Agricultural Waste

This business opportunity explores compost as an organic fertilizers resulting from the decomposition of agricultural waste with or without animal waste. It is used as a fertilizer for agricultural produce and/or to improve soil fertility, particularly in desert farming and less fertile land.

Mixed Agricultural Waste to Vermi-Compost

This business opportunity explores vermicomposting, a less commonly known technology in the Egyptian market. It is based on breeding special species of worms that can feed on large amounts of organic waste. These include red wigglers, white worms, and earth worms. The worms casting (i.e. feces) is used as fertilizers that usually have less contaminants and higher concentration of nutrients than original organic waste.

Agricultural Waste to Fibre Bedding

This business opportunity focuses on the production of fibre bedding from agricultural waste. Fibre bedding is very simple, yet a very important product for animal breeding. It is laid on the floor of any sheep, cattle or poultry farm in order to provide a comfortable surface and decrease contamination. Fibre bedding is made out of chrushed/shredded agricultural waste or waste wood.

Agricultural Waste to Animal Feed

In this business opportunity, agricultural waste is turned to animal feed. Many types of agricultural waste can be used directly as animal feed without any treatment. Others can be shredded (e.g. sugar straw) or grinded (e.g. date pits). In this case, the market and notorious value will be low. This opportunity targets high quality animal feed that is produced through anaerobic fermentation of agricultural waste. Additives could be included to complement the nutritious value. The product can feed cattle and sheep. The value added in the fermentation process and additives can raise the price of the feed between 10 to 15 times compared to using agricultural waste directly without processing.

Organic Waste to Fish and Poultry Feed

This opportunity utilizes organic municipal solid waste. The organic fraction of the municipal solid waste is fed to black soldier fly larvae to produce fish and poultry feed. The larvae eat and digest the organic waste. When the larvae grow, they can be used as high protein feed in fisheries and poultry farms. Black soldier flies are bred in netted boxes, whereas their eggs are transferred to hatcheries.

Collection of MSW in Rural Areas and Small Cities

The focus in this business opportunity is on areas where the informal sector is inactive. In certain regions (rural and small urban centers), the collection service provided by municipalities can fall short of aspirations of citizens. In addition, the amounts of recyclables are limited to attract effective private sector collectors. Therefore, in this business opportunity the collectors’ main revenue streams are from selling segregated waste. The collectors in urban centers are used to operate on large amounts of waste in limited areas and mostly finance their operations from revenues of selling recyclables, which are collected at a low cost and sizable amounts.

Designing and Manufacturing Recycling Machines

This business opportunity focuses on designing and manufacturing custom made recycling machines. Therefore, the sales of machinery is the main revenue stream. Most common machinery include sorting lines, shredders of plastic and agricultural waste, pressing machines which can work with plastics, cans, as well as paper and cardboard. Pelleting machines are also starting to be in high demand.