Are you looking for an easy way to be your own boss? Need a business with low startup costs, yet it yields high monetary returns? Starting a trash pickup business might be the perfect solution! If you’d like to learn how to make money picking up trash and keeping the community litter-free, keep reading!
Brian Winch is the creator and author of Cleanlots – America’s Simplest Business. Brian grew a simple environmental service from a side hustle in 1981 into a six-figure business, starting with little money, education, and skills but plenty of passion, patience, and persistence.
He can teach you how to start and operate a simple home-based trash business with a few simple tools like a laptop, internet connection, business cards, broom, dustpan, waste bin, and litter collection tool.
Tell Us How You Got Involved in Picking up Trash.
I first did this when I was about 12-13 years old. My dad was a janitor who supplemented his full-time income by doing various outdoor side gigs. He would take me along with him occasionally to assist with his grass-cutting, snow shoveling, or picking up trash.
He had a contract with a property management company to maintain the exterior property free of trash (or litter) outside of their retail plaza, not far from where we lived. We would walk the sidewalks, parking lot, and landscape before the stores opened and clean up litter people had discarded the previous day. Items such as empty drink cups, cans, bottles, fast food wrappers or candy wrappers, and cigarette butts. The simple hand tools we used made cleaning up almost as easy as going for a walk!
When I was 21 in 1981 and working full-time in a dead-end job, I began remembering my dad’s side gigs. I didn’t go to college; I barely finished high school. I didn’t have much in either skills or money, so why not start a simple side gig as my dad had done, I thought to myself. Just as I decided to start a litter pick business of my own, my dad died unexpectedly at the age of 61. I was more determined than ever to succeed and make my mom proud.
I started cold calling property management companies to introduce myself and briefly explain how my service would be of benefit to them. My third or fourth call generated strong interest. I obtained a couple of addresses for a small and medium size retail strip plaza and provided my price estimates for daily service after seeing and walking them. I was ecstatic when I was awarded contracts for both.
I did the cleaning after I got off from my full-time job at 10 pm. I would do some sales prospecting in the morning before going to work at 2 pm. I quit my job after a couple of months when I began making more money from my side hustle business than my job. I continued to scale my business to a six-figure one-man operation and eventually to an operation that deploys an army of cleaners throughout my city with revenue upwards of $650,000 per year.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Picking up Trash and Junk?
This is not difficult work. The simple and unique hand tools make it clean, safe, and easy. The service is best performed in the early morning hours before businesses open, so it doesn’t conflict with a day job if someone is looking to make extra money on the side. The outdoor walking around provides some exercise. It’s pretty rewarding seeing the results from your work and knowing that you’re making your community a better place to live, work and play.
How Much Money Can You Make With A Litter Cleanup Business?
How much would you like to make? You can easily make $2,000-$3,000 a month or more, working a couple of hours a day. Do you want to simply work by yourself or recruit people to help you out? I coached one individual from a simple side hustle to a seven-figure nationwide operation. There’s no secret to success. If you work your business, your business will work for you!
What Sort of Personality Does Best With This Business?
If you’re somewhat introverted or enjoy working alone, then you should consider this type of work. I enjoy working the early morning hours. I find my work to be peaceful and rewarding. I’m introverted and have no difficulty communicating with my clients.
How Long Does It Take To Get Up and Running With This Side Hustle?
Not long if you follow the steps outlined in my book. There’s a process that needs to be followed without taking shortcuts. You can get started as soon as you’ve finished reading my book.
How Did You Get Involved in Teaching People How to Start a Trash Clean-up Business?
I’d been in business about 4 years when the thought occurred to me that many others would be interested to learn how to start and operate a parking lot litter cleanup business. Either part or full-time. I’d already learned from my mistakes, so why not share my experience with others? I have nothing to lose as you can’t compete with me in my city and I can’t in yours. It’s a simple win/win.
I also offer free support with my contact information in my book, Cleanlots. It’s my way of giving back and honoring my dad. He was a hard-working man who I never heard complain about his lot in life. If he needed to make more money, then he found a way to make it.
What Will People Learn in Your Book, Cleanlots?
I’ve written Cleanlots for people who’ve never been in business for themselves before. They’ll learn the step-by-step process of how to start up and operate a business, how to market it, and how to build a business through customer referrals. I’ve skipped the fluff and provided only what you need to quickly comprehend so you can take action. Many of the tips I share cost you no money to apply to grow your business. Lastly, you learn that I’m in your corner with the free coaching I offer.
Conclusion: How to Make Money Picking up Trash
My business isn’t for everyone. It’s not glamorous or sexy. But it’s very rewarding for people who enjoy providing a simple environmental service in their community. One thing’s for certain: People litter. They always have and always will. I can attest to that with my 40+ years of experience. Fortunes have been made (and can be made) by those willing to clean up after others.
If you’re ready to make money picking up trash and typical litter, check out Brian’s book, Cleanlots, to start making money quickly.