- Solid waste offers opportunities for entrepreneurs, producing reliable profits and opportunities for innovation
- Trash production in the United States remains high despite sustainability efforts
- One challenge in establishing such a business is the high cost of creating, managing, or closing a landfill
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
When pondering business ideas, entrepreneurs often look for opportunities in unexpected places. One such market that has proved profitable and open to innovation is solid waste.
Despite the growth of sustainability efforts, trash production in the United States still averages about 1,600 to 1,700 pounds per person per year. Municipalities have increasingly outsourced landfill operations rather than running their own due to the expense of establishing, managing, or closing a site.
- The two largest solid waste companies in the U.S. have outperformed market expectations since 2015
- Tipping fees, or the amount charged per ton to dump garbage, account for most landfill revenue
- Landfills also offer potential for innovative uses such as mining to recover valuable materials or energy production using methane from decaying garbage