Business case: if you’re dumping waste now but intend to start recycling
Because landfilling requires relatively little investment, the challenge of the recycling business case is to recoup the investment in mechanical recycling plants by selling secondary raw materials on the market. This can be a growth model. The obvious place to start is with plastics, metals and paper, and to supplement that with processing organic material.
Business case: if you’re incinerating (or exporting) now but intend to start recycling
The advantage is that residents are already used to paying for waste disposal. And you can use this income to write off the incinerator over a period of 30 years. Recycling targets also have to be met, even if you have current contracts. The challenge is to make the transition with your business model. Separating plastics, paper and metals is a good place to start to keep a stream of raw materials out of the incinerator and to do well on the market in terms of sales and prices. The secondary raw materials chain for this stream is already well developed.