Trash to Cash: The Lucrative Trash Can Cleaning Business

Unveiling the Hidden Potential of Trash Can Sanitization Services

Nelmie Jane Pardo | Updated March 29, 2023

Bin cleaning is a fairly new niche with an enormous profit potential.

While trash bin cleaning has been a thriving industry in Europe for decades, this emerging service sector is still in its infancy in the US.

And that’s great news for business owners like you! Because there’s much less competition at this early stage, you have the advantage of dominating the market early on.

Demand in the cleaning trash cans business is rising, making this business venture highly lucrative!

Keep reading to learn more about running a trash can cleaning company. We will explore the profitability of this business venture and its pros and cons.

What is bin cleaning?

Bin cleaning services involve cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing trash cans and dumpsters. Cleaning companies use a large trailer equipped with a water tank and power washer to thoroughly clean a bin’s interiors and eliminate harmful germs, bacteria, viruses, and pungent odors.

  1. First, a trash bin cleaning company collects a customer’s can on garbage day.
  2. They will check for unwanted leftover waste, like chemicals or small dead pests, and load it into the back of the cleaning truck.
  3. Next, they lift the can and attach it to the truck’s hydraulic grabber. Then, they will use high-pressure water heated to 200 degrees to clean the bin and remove all dirt and bad smells.
  4. They ensure proper disposal of the dirty water by bringing it to the wastewater treatment plant.
  5. Finally, the customer gets a germ-free, deodorized, and sparkling-clean bin.

Advantages of bin cleaning

Regularly washing dirty trash bins contributes to a safer and more sanitary environment, whether at home or in business settings.

  • It helps businesses create a positive impression on guests and clients.
  • More importantly, it reduces the health risk associated with germ-infested bins.
  • Trash can cleaning services provide a fast, convenient, and mess-free cleaning process using advanced equipment.
  • Customers’ bins remain free of bugs, rodents, and other pests that become drawn to the pungent odors of a dirty bin.

Additionally, you can market your cleaning service as an eco-friendly solution as you simply use high-pressure water instead of harsh chemicals to clean trash cans.

Why you should start a trash bin cleaning business

The bin cleaning industry is rife with potential opportunities for business owners searching for a non-saturated market.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of entering this new industry.

Pros of a trash can cleaning business

  • Every household/business with a trash can is a prospective customer
  • Low startup costs
  • Work on your terms
  • Fairly low competition
  • Great potential to gain loyal, recurring customers
  • Excellent potential earnings once you establish your business

Cons of a bin cleaning business

  • Involves handling dirty, smelly bins (must wear safety gear for protection from hazardous materials)
  • The seasonal demand means a busy business during warmer seasons and fewer customers during winter

Trash can cleaning business customers

Almost every household has an outdoor trash bin that needs a thorough cleaning. You can also market your services to apartment buildings and commercial businesses with large wheelie bins and dumpsters.

Residential bin cleaning

It’s best to find residential customers close to each other to reduce transportation costs. Many communities use standardized waste bins for collecting garbage and yard waste, recycling, and composting. This means you’ll never run out of potential customers.

Commercial bin cleaning

Commercial businesses are a huge source of recurring work. They typically pay upfront for months of regular cleaning services for a hassle-free arrangement. Market your services to building management companies, so you can have a single customer paying for cleaning bins at several facilities within the same area.

Your prospective commercial customers include:

  • Apartments and condominiums
  • Office buildings
  • Restaurants and fast-food chains
  • Schools
  • Hospitals and care homes
  • Shopping centers and supermarkets
  • Recreational centers

Additional services

Besides cleaning bins and dumpsters, offer a pressure washing service to clean driveways and sidewalks to increase your profits.

Trash can cleaning business average prices

The average prices of trash can cleaning vary depending on location and the type and frequency of cleaning. Trash can cleaning businesses typically offer these service levels:

  • One-time cleaning: Average prices for one-time cleanings vary between $15 to $55 per can.
  • Monthly cleaning: Monthly services usually cost $15 to $20 per can, billed for a certain number of cleanings. Many trash bin cleaning companies offer discounts for cleaning multiple cans.
  • Bi-monthly cleaning (every 2 months): Bi-monthly services range from $15 to $25 per can.
  • Quarterly cleaning (every 3 months): This is slightly more expensive than bi-monthly cleaning, averaging $20 to $25.
  • Dumpster cleaning (large trash containers): This costs more than standard residential bins, typically around $50 to $200 per dumpster.

With monthly and bi-monthly cleanings, you provide regular, recurring services to customers. Offer subscription packages and get as many recurring cleanings as you can to have a guaranteed revenue stream and make the most profit.

Tip: A yearly membership is an excellent marketing strategy to get long-term customers. For example, you can offer a 10% discount when a customer signs up for a monthly service and pays 1 year upfront.

Garbage can cleaning business profit

How much you can make depends on how many trash cans and dumpsters you clean daily.

Here’s a simple chart showing the potential revenues from running a trash bin cleaning service Mondays through Fridays.

Number of trash cans cleanedAverage priceWeekly revenueAnnual revenue

Now let’s say you have around $500 total monthly operating costs. If you clean twenty cans daily and make $1500 weekly, your potential monthly income is $5,500 after expenses.

The key is to attract as many customers as possible to keep your cleaning business busy season after season. You can easily multiply your profits when you gain loyal customers who pay upfront for months or a full year of regular service.

Startup costs and bin cleaning equipment costs

To provide trash bin cleaning services, you need a self-contained system for cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing trash cans, dumpsters, and recycling bins.

You can use a trailer-mounted system or a truck-mounted hydraulic lift. You’ll need a power washing system running at 3,500 pounds per square inch (PSI). Trash can cleaning companies typically blast 200-degree Fahrenheit heated water for eco-friendly cleaning or use a cleaning solution.

Check out our full guide on bin cleaning equipment costs.

Besides equipment, you’ll likely need $1,000 or more to start marketing your business.

Ongoing costs include gas, insurance, accounting software, and your payment system. You will also likely pay for website hosting, marketing materials, and cellphone service.

Marketing your bin cleaning business

trash bin cleaning business logo

Getting the word out about your services is critical in running a new business. Here are several tried-and-tested ideas:

  • Flyers and stickers: Timing is the key! Stick flyers to empty bins on trash pickup day. You can even offer bin cleaning on the spot before people put their trash cans back up on driveways.
  • Door-to-door advertising: Go ahead and knock on doors to introduce your cleaning services to homeowners and business owners. Many people will be thrilled to know someone wants to clean their dirty trash cans for them.
  • Door hangers are an excellent marketing method when you want a more passive way to sell your services.
  • Build a solid online presence: Get help from professional web designers to create a stunning website that best represents your bin cleaning business. Keep your Google Business Profile fresh and relevant, and write blogs about the importance of maintaining a clean trash can to spread awareness.

Always do an exceptional job for an outstanding first impression and successful referrals.

Tip: Whatever form of advertising you choose, make an enticing offer your target customers can’t resist, like a limited-time introductory discount or a subscription service discount.


Can I run a one-man trash bin cleaning business?

Yes, you can certainly run a one-man cleaning business as a new startup. You can buy additional trucks or trailers and hire cleaners as your business becomes more successful.

How long does cleaning trash bins take?

A first-time clean usually takes around 30 seconds, whereas maintenance cleaning averages 7 seconds.

Final thoughts

Running a trash can cleaning business can be very profitable when done right.

Your success depends on your ability to manage your day-to-day operations and persistently market your services.

Build a setup that works for your business goals and diligently research all aspects of the bin cleaning niche, from equipment costs to market demand.

The emerging bin cleaning industry has massive growth potential, and there’s no better time to start than today!

Written by Nelmie Jane Pardo

Nelmie Jane Pardo

Nelmie Jane Pardo is a senior contributing writer who lends insight into digital marketing methods and business solutions. She regularly writes at BusinessHue to help business owners take their online marketing to the next level.