Creating A Business Out Of Recycled Solvent

recycled solvent

There is a business opportunity for you in solvent recycling!


Here is what it takes to make a business out of recycled solvent:

Starting off with a small either 15 litre or 30 litre recycler machine, the cost to produce a litre has been calculated to about 50 cents (running cost, not cost to purchase the machine). If you were to purchase a 30-litre recycler machine – the cost per batch would work out to be around R15.00 and depending on your work hours you should be able to produce 2 batches a day equalling to around R30.00 per day/ R900.00 per month (30 days).

Now that we have gone through what it will cost you to recycle solvent and you can see that the cost is very minimal. Let’s look at how you can make a return on this and produce an income.

Say you price your recycled solvent at R7.50 per litre, most customers will buy their solvent in large quantities eg. 25 litre Jerry cans up to 200 litre drums – This means to produce a 25-litre jerry can of recycled solvent, the actual cost would be R12.50 and your selling price would be R187.50.

For a 200-litre drum, the cost would be R100.00 and your selling price would be R1500.00.

Typical paint thinners used for cleaning spray equipment from a major distributor in Pinetown is selling at R432 for 25 litre

And R3348 for 200 litre and [excl vat].

So the profit you can make is massive.

To sum this all up and make things clearer:

Actual cost per 25 litre jerry can of recycled solvent = R12.50
You sell it for R187.50 (R7.50 X 25) – You make R175.00 profit

If you look at a month (22 working days)
30 Litre recycler x 2 batches per day = 60 litres a day
60 litres a day x 22 days a month = 1,320 litre a month

[If you are prepared to work overtime, you could d 3 batches per day, 90 litre per day = 1980 litre per month].


1,320 litres per month x 0.50 cents = R660.00 (Actual cost to recycle solvent per your 22 days)
1,320 litres per month x R7.50 = R9,900.00 (Selling price)

Total profit = R9,240.00 per month

[3 batches per day would increase this by 50%, to R13,860].

A 60 litre recycler would produce double these calculations and a 120 litre machine would produce 4 times the quantity and profit.

Note this is based on 2 batches per day, and it’s quite possible with longer working hours to extend this to 3 batches per day, resulting in an increase of 50% productivity and profit as mentioned above.

The bigger the recycler the larger the quantity of recycled solvent that is produced and sold – the more profit each month. A solvent recycler price starts at about R60,000.00, and of course, becomes more expensive as the size increases.

Popular sizes for small to medium business are from 15 litres – 120 litres.

These recyclers are designed for use in a well-ventilated area only.

We also have recyclers for use in hazardous areas where high concentrations of flammable vapours are present.

One of the key factors in solvent recycling is to ensure that the companies you remove the dirty solvent from are guaranteed to purchase the recycled solvent back from you as some companies do not use recycled solvent and it is best and safer to sell the same solvent back to the customer that you removed the dirt thinners from.

You would also need to ensure there is no water present in the dirty solvent/thinners as this can cause a problem.

We invite you to have a look at the video showing a 30 litre recycler processing a batch view our link here.

PLEASE NOTE that we will discuss with you and offer basic advice, but our expertise is in solvent recycling machines, not in the financing of equipment or in making a business plan.  For advice on this, please contact a professional.