Cleaning trash bins is one of those tasks that nobody wants to do or even really thinks to do unless there are some significant issues or spills, and that often involves someone rinsing the trash bin in the sink or with a garden hose.

With the changes in the world and how focused people are on keeping things clean and sanitized now, operating a trash bin cleaning business can become quite profitable if you can market your services effectively.

We’re going to review your potential customers, startup costs, and profit margins for a trash bin cleaning business so that you can get involved in this new industry that has enormous profit potential.

Who are Your Potential Trash Bin Cleaning Customers 

Your potential customers can range from residential customers, commercial businesses, and even apartment buildings. Anybody with trash bins, large wheelie bins, or even large dumpsters can use your services.

Trash bin cleaning businesses are about cleaning, deodorizing, and sanitizing a customer’s trash bins. It’s something many people may want but never think to hire a service to do for them. 

Residential Customers

Most people have multiple trash bins in their homes and larger wheelie bins for trash pickup. Your most significant issue with residential customers is finding a group close together so that you’re not having to drive all over an area for the smaller fees that you’ll be charging.

You may want to incorporate some kind of discount for customers that refer their neighbors in the same area so that you can try to maximize your time and resources.

Commercial Customers

Offices are a big potential customer, especially if you can get connected to several larger businesses with many employees and in the same building. You can even try to sell your services to building management companies so that you can service multiple facilities in the same area and be paid by a single customer.  

Companies are more likely to set up ongoing cleanings so that you have recurring revenue and set schedules of when you will clean and how much you will be making.

Apartment Buildings

Apartment buildings have many large wheelie bins in their garbage rooms that you could clean, and if you can get a contract with an apartment building, it’s an opportunity to introduce your services to the residents. Being able to clean multiple bins in a single location is desirable for your time.

You may be able to upsell things like power washing the garbage room floor, which is often a very smelly and dirty area. You could even offer a discount or some type of deal to get yourself introduced to the building residents in some way.

Startup Costs and Garbage Can Equipment

The startup costs and equipment required differ a little depending on what kind of customers you’ll focus on and what specific services you’re going to offer. 

To whom  you buy your equipment from will also determine costs. For example, some companies provide a fully built trash bin cleaning trailer that you can hook onto your truck and be ready to go instantly. At the same time, other companies will offer modular systems that let you build your trailers and fully customize your setup.

The advantage of a modular system that you build yourself is that you can design your setup and even install the system on a truck rather than using a trailer, and the costs are much lower than a pre-built system. For example, you can build systems for around $25,000 while pre-built systems could be anywhere from $50,000+.

How much you can charge will still be the same, so the more you spend on a system, the longer it will take to recover your costs and start making a profit.

Startup Costs

Vehicle: $3,500+

Trailer: $500+

Trash Bin Cleaning Equipment: $25,000+

Pressure Washing Equipment: $1,000+

Website: $500

Marketing: $1,000

Ongoing Costs

Gas: $250 / month

Insurance: $100 / month

Payment System: 2.9% of payment

Accounting Software: $5.70 / month

You may find other ongoing costs as you start to operate the business, so it may take you a few more customers or more time to become profitable. Additional costs could include cellphone service, website hosting, and ongoing marketing materials such as flyers or stickers.

Garbage Can Cleaning Business Profit

The profit you can make is limited by how many customers you can serve in a day. Therefore, you should optimize where your customers are and what days you service each area. 

You can offer one-time cleanings or get contracts to clean every two weeks or once a month. While you can charge more for a one-time cleaning, the contracted cleanings are where you will ultimately make the most money and have guaranteed income each month.

You’ll want to see what similar services are in your area so you can set prices accordingly; however, without anybody to set prices, you may be the first one in the area.

A one-time cleaning could be $20-$30 and more if you have to clean many trash bins.

Contracted cleanings could be $8-$15 depending on how much work is involved with each customer’s cleaning, such as how many trash bins you have to do.

The details below give you an idea of how much you make, monthly costs, and your actual profits based on how many customers you can serve each day.


Added Revenue Streams

You can increase your profit by similar upselling services to your customers; the more you can do for a single customer, the fewer customers you may need to find.

Power Washing

The area around the trash bins is likely filthy as well, so offering to power wash the area while the bins are being cleaned is easy to add upsell to most customers.

If you’re already power washing an area, you may be able to offer power washing or surface cleaning in larger areas or even the customer’s house.