IDAHO FALLS — Stockton Berry never dreamed of being a garbage man, but being able to fill a need in the marketplace is what fills his bucket, or in this case, his can.
Berry owns Cleaner Cans, a business that cleans and deodorizes residential and commercial garbage cans. The business was formed about three years ago and has grown to include about 200 customers.
“People are starting to catch on to the idea,” Berry tells EastIdahoNews.com. “At first, people thought ‘Why would I clean out my garbage can?’, but now it seems like a normal thing that people pay for and love.”
Cleaner Cans is a mobile operation. Stockton and his business partners drive door-to-door with a trailer that lifts the dumpster, holds it upside down over a 250-gallon tank and power washes it. Once all the guck is drained out, the trash can is lowered and sprayed with an aromatic spray out of a spray bottle.
The process is repeated monthly, every other month, or seasonally, depending on what plan customers pay for.
“I knew it was a need. I knew people always complained about their garages stinking — diapers and all kinds of gunk that gets put in garbages,” Berry says.
The idea for Cleaner Cans came after Berry saw a similar type of business in Spanish Fork, Utah.
“There was a guy (with a similar business) in Utah, and when I saw him doing that, I thought ‘Why don’t I look into this because I know no one’s doing this in southeastern Idaho,'” Berry says.
As he began to research the idea, he learned it was a big thing in Europe and very few people were doing it in the United States.
One of the business’s highest-paying customers is the city of Ammon. Berry helps prepare garbage cans for a new customer after someone moves or no longer pays for garbage collection services with the city.
“No new resident likes a nasty, stinky garbage can,” he says. “If (people) try to clean their own (garbage can), it’s literally putting it in the curb or on the driveway and hosing it out. But then all that gunk ends up in your gutters, on your driveway or your lawn. We have a way to do it where it’s all collected and (self-contained).”
Berry is hoping to provide the same service for the city of Idaho Falls in the near future.
While most of Cleaner Cans’ customers are in the Idaho Falls area, Payton, Stockton’s brother, says the business is growing to other areas. They recently started cleaning dumpsters for Hemming Village in Rexburg and there have been a lot of requests for the service to be offered in Shelley.
“It takes a lot of gas to pull this trailer and so it’s hard to get down there if we only have one person to clean. So if we could grow our routes (that we currently have) that would make it easier for us to lower our prices so we can get to more people,” Payton says.
In addition to cleaning garbage cans, they also offer residential and commercial power washing for sidewalks, driveways, homes and other surfaces.
The cost for the dumpster cleaning service is $24.99 for a one-time cleaning, $17.99 every three months, $14.99 every other month or $11.99 a month. If you’d like to sign up for the service, call (208) 403-0818 or click the link on the company’s website. You can also learn more on the Facebook page.
“It’s fun to help people out. I love watching people get excited about their garbage can,” says Berry.