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  • FIRST POST
    vikingv
    wanting to start a wheelie bin cleaning service
    • #1
    • 13th Dec 09, 2:49 PM
    wanting to start a wheelie bin cleaning service 13th Dec 09 at 2:49 PM
    I am currently running a mobile car valeting business but this is not going so well in the current climate so im thinking of branching out and start offering wheelie bin cleaning. I am wondering whether anyone knows any legislation or ideas ect for me. i have a van which is equiped with a pressure washer and water tank as well as all my valeting equipment which i can remove for the bin cleaning so that's one outlay I won't have. I have done some research and how found that some franchise companies say that the water needs to be kept and NOT go down the drain network so guess I would need to contact the local council for guidance?
    I would charge £1 a bin.

    thank you in advance for any suggestions or experiences.
Page 1
    • ukbill69
    • By ukbill69 13th Dec 09, 2:56 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 1,310 Thanks
    ukbill69
    • #2
    • 13th Dec 09, 2:56 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Dec 09, 2:56 PM
    I think its a good idea and for £1, no one could grumble at that could they. Not sure about waste water. But good luck.
    Kind Regards
    Bill
    • pandora205
    • By pandora205 13th Dec 09, 3:03 PM
    • 2,752 Posts
    • 2,611 Thanks
    pandora205
    • #3
    • 13th Dec 09, 3:03 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Dec 09, 3:03 PM
    Someone is doing it locally here for a sign up for around £3.50 per month (can't remember exactly) which presumably guarantees ongoing business.
    somewhere between Heaven and Woolworth's
  • vikingv
    • #4
    • 13th Dec 09, 3:22 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Dec 09, 3:22 PM
    well i was thinking of that, in a normal 4 week month there are on average 6 bins to be cleaned per month. so i would try to get people to pay in advance for there bins whether it be on a fornightly basis or monthly. i just need to collect as much information regarding the water down storm drains etc before i invest into this idea. i have contacted the local council today via email so hopefully ill have a response soon enough.
    • cosyc
    • By cosyc 13th Dec 09, 4:27 PM
    • 335 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    cosyc
    • #5
    • 13th Dec 09, 4:27 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Dec 09, 4:27 PM
    My mum pays £3 a month. Shes a pensioner so can't get to bottom of bin to clean.
  • paulwf
    • #6
    • 13th Dec 09, 4:47 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Dec 09, 4:47 PM
    Have you sat down and crunched some numbers?

    Let's presume for sake of argument this was to be a full time business yielding a sensible but not excessive income for one person.

    To cover your operating overheads plus pay yourself a wage (remember you need to factor in extra to cover holiday and sick pay) lets say you need to generate £12 per hour. That means cleaning a wheelie bin every 5 minutes non-stop for perhaps 8 hours a day.

    That's 96 bins a day or 480 a week. That creates two issues that you need to address. The first is can one person process a bin then get to the next location (and don't expect a take up rate above 5%) in 5 minutes? Secondly can you get 480 customers? I'm assuming you would clean a bin after the refuse collection and you would do their waste bin one week and their recycling bin the next.

    Obviously my figures are meaningless but I hope they give you a framework to put in your own numbers. I do think a figure of having to turn round every bin in 5 minutes is a good ballpark figure though, and without knowing much about the industry I doubt that average could be sustained for any length of time.

    I also think building up a round of 500 customers (throughout the year not only in the smelly summer months) is going to take a long period of time and a lot of hard work. Don't fall for the business maths fallacy "if only 1% of potential customers buy our product...".

    Sorry if that sounds pessimistic...would love you to provide some figures from a trial to prove me wrong. It just sounds too much like an "up your income" style business where you make a few quid on the side at a very low hourly rate not a genuine income.

    BTW there doesn't seem any need or the margins to go down the franchise route.
  • mazza111
    • #7
    • 13th Dec 09, 4:49 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Dec 09, 4:49 PM
    A guy started doing it round this way for £1 a week, but I think he had problems collecting the money from people who weren't at home when he was cleaning the bins. I used to always leave the cash with my neighbour and she would pay him, but would love this kind of service to start up again.
    4 Stones and 0 pounds or 25.4kg lighter
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 13th Dec 09, 5:15 PM
    • 12,135 Posts
    • 18,762 Thanks
    zzzLazyDaisy
    • #8
    • 13th Dec 09, 5:15 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Dec 09, 5:15 PM
    We used to have a bin cleaning service which we paid for monthly. The problem was they would often turn up two or three days after the bin had been emptied, by which time it was in use again. Obviously we cancelled.

    So you do need to make sure that you follow the collection team round and/or clean the bin fairly soon after it has been emptied.
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
  • borders_dude
    • #9
    • 13th Dec 09, 8:48 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Dec 09, 8:48 PM
    If you are doing it you need some kind of pre payment arrangments.

    Good luck, report back in a year and tell us how you have done!
    When dealing with the CSA its important to note that it is commonly accepted as unfit for purpose, and by default this also means the staff are unfit for purpose.
    • ukbill69
    • By ukbill69 13th Dec 09, 11:02 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 1,310 Thanks
    ukbill69
    If you are doing it you need some kind of pre payment arrangments.

    Good luck, report back in a year and tell us how you have done!
    Originally posted by borders_dude
    Like your windows being done, you dont pre-pay to them do you.
    Kind Regards
    Bill
    • ukbill69
    • By ukbill69 13th Dec 09, 11:03 PM
    • 2,636 Posts
    • 1,310 Thanks
    ukbill69
    Got a name for you that available: cleanabin.co.uk
    Kind Regards
    Bill
  • borders_dude
    No you dont, but if you do a google search you will find lots of wheelie bin companies offer pre payment options, it also makes good cash flow sense as it means nobody is waiting for payments to come in.
    When dealing with the CSA its important to note that it is commonly accepted as unfit for purpose, and by default this also means the staff are unfit for purpose.
    • slummymummyof3
    • By slummymummyof3 13th Dec 09, 11:17 PM
    • 1,908 Posts
    • 1,684 Thanks
    slummymummyof3
    I would have thought you need to contact environmental services within the council to find out about whether or not you need to 'keep' the water or not. We have someone locally you comes round and cleans the bins but as I don't subscribe I don't know what the charge is.

    As others have said you would need to find out what day each road has its bins cleaned so that you could clean them that day.
    • Ste C
    • By Ste C 14th Dec 09, 9:32 AM
    • 648 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    Ste C
    If your car valeting business is struggling, what makes you think this will be any different?

    Having your wheelie bin cleaned is not essential, in fact it's barely needed at all. My two bins have been cleaned once each in the last year and they're fine. They smell a little, but only when the bin is open.

    I cannot understand why people would pay to have their bins cleaned. There is a wheelie bin cleaner who lives near to me, but I have never seen him cleaning a bin and I know nobody who uses him.

    As has been mentioned, even in a positive economic climate you'd need to clean hundreds of bins each week. In a recession when people are cutting back on non-essentials it seems crazy.
    • debtfreeatlonglast
    • By debtfreeatlonglast 14th Dec 09, 9:37 AM
    • 113 Posts
    • 119 Thanks
    debtfreeatlonglast
    hi, i actually used to run a wheelie bin cleaning business with my ex husband, we ran it 7 years so can probably answer some of your questions. firstly you need a street traders license, you might also need, depending on your councils rules, a license from the water board to draw water from fire hydrants, and yes, you are not allowed to drop water down the drain, some companies do even though you are not supposed to , but you can face a hefty fine if you are caught..its because of the risk of cross contamination if there are cracks in drains/pipes etc, and it is sepa who will enforce this. you will usually be asked how and where you plan to dispose of your dirty water when you apply for a license... in our case we had a dirty water tank on the back of our van which was filled via a sump pump from the trough (which was also on on the back of our van) in which we washed the bins (to avoid dropping dirty water/rubbish all over the streets which is obviously another no no) and we had an agreement with a local local farmer that we could empty it into his septic tank,(old friend of the family). please dont base your figures on people wanting their recycling bins washed, these dont tend to get smelly so people generally dont bother ,preferring instead to get the general household ones washed on a more regular basis and sometimes the garden waste ones in the summer. some flats can be problematic... you always get some ""helpful soul" pulling all the bins in off the street, taking them through to the back and locking entry points, ..by the time you have located someone who is in, got a key, dragged the bins back out to be washed etc you have wasted a lot of time. please also bear in mind that people sometimes forget to put their bin out for emptying so it cant get washed, or have it half full by the time you get there a little later in the day to wash it ,again meaning it couldnt get washed=lost income. it also will not pay you to take their rubbish out and take it to the tip,.. as you run as a commercial business the tip will charge you for disposing of rubbish and obviously you need to keep your overheads down, other problems we faced were bins not getting emptied due to industrial action, and people not paying(in the end we would not wash after 3 washes were due until the bill was settled... partly because we did not want to get bumped but also because some people genuinely did find it difficult to pay once their bill became too high, we would put a slip through the door on the day we washed the bins if they were out so there could be no confusion over what people were due, and believe me, some people would swear blind that their bin had not been washed to save £1.50... usually the well heeled ones believe it or not lol. on a positive note, it was great working out doors, being our own bosses and although it never made us rich it did provide us with a reasonable standard of living for a good few years and as you are planning on running this alongside your exsisting business i would say go for it, good luck!!
    • happywarmgun
    • By happywarmgun 14th Dec 09, 9:39 AM
    • 273 Posts
    • 185 Thanks
    happywarmgun
    If your tools of trade are pressure washer and van - have you thought about trying path/patio cleaning as a sideline? Brilliant in Spring for people who have weeds popping up between flags, or whose path-ways have lost their lustre. I note there are franchises setting up who essentially offer this service.

    Just a thought - might be worth a put - if you already have the pressure washer the only extra is the different end to clean paths...
  • paulwf
    From looking at various franchise sites the standard model seems to be to list a price of around £4 with a reduction to £3.50 for an advance subscription.

    £3.50 rather than £1 per bin will give you a much more realistic time per customer. However it does take it to a price that will limit your customer base, especially all year round.

    Simple number crunching for one person working on their own suggests you need to sign up around 500 customers on annual subscription. I think the biggest challenge is that as the vehicle has to be specially modified it would be hard to run alongside your valeting business.

    Patio cleaning sounds like a good sideline...not sure how big a market it will be these days though when pressure washers are so cheap, although you may offer a better service you'll have to charge around £10 to be profitable whereas most people have a mate they can borrow a pressure washer off in exchange for a couple of beers.
  • Stompydebs
    bin cleaning
    My bin cleaning chap charges £2 a bin,, he does a great job plus uses some freshener, my bin always smells flowery after hes been lol and brings the bin in for me to. He also cleans the recycling bins at £1,, i pay £10 which covers me for 5 weeks,, he turns up within 3 hours of bin being emptied,, if im not home when im due to pay we have an agreed "safe place" i leave the money for him,, hes been doing my bin for over a year and now has a helper to,, and his van has the company name on,,so must be doing ok,, i think its a great idea and a great service. GOOD LUCK!!
    • save-a-lot
    • By save-a-lot 16th Dec 09, 1:29 AM
    • 2,507 Posts
    • 2,287 Thanks
    save-a-lot
    If your car valeting business is struggling, what makes you think this will be any different?

    Having your wheelie bin cleaned is not essential, in fact it's barely needed at all. My two bins have been cleaned once each in the last year and they're fine. They smell a little, but only when the bin is open.

    I cannot understand why people would pay to have their bins cleaned. There is a wheelie bin cleaner who lives near to me, but I have never seen him cleaning a bin and I know nobody who uses him.

    As has been mentioned, even in a positive economic climate you'd need to clean hundreds of bins each week. In a recession when people are cutting back on non-essentials it seems crazy.
    Originally posted by Ste C
    Very popular where I live, the wheelie bin cleaners follow the refuse collectors around, so never any issues of missing a clean. Our bins, like most now are emptied every two weeks. We still have children in nappies, that is our reason, makes the bin stink even after emptying otherwise. The bins are washed and disinfected and really happy with the service. We don't pre-pay.

    Regarding the water thing. The guys doing this near to us have a system that lifts and tips the bins and the water is retained in their vehicle.
  • jamesy
    Yes interested in this let me know when this is ready thanks
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