Already, they have asked friends and relatives if they would want their bins cleaned. So many said yes that the Tans are excited about the franchise rights they received in a deal with a man from England. It took an initial investment of about $100,000 in their SaniCan franchise. Now, they have a delivery truck retrofitted with a stainless-steel compartment and a motor-powered water hose for high-pressure cleaning. To start the business, Carlos Tan, 49, took a leave of absence from his job as a financial analyst in health care. Since then, he has been putting tags on garbage bins to advertise the service. “When I was tagging the trash bins, really the trash bins were filthy, so they need us,” he said. Kevin Smith heads the New Jersey-based SaniCan. Smith, who comes from a background in information technology, modeled SaniCan on similar bin-cleaning companies in the United Kingdom, where he is from. SANTA CLARITA Curbside garbage bin cleaning: It may be a novelty in the United States, but in England many residents expect it. Now, a company is bringing the service to Santa Clarita. Carlos and Lina Tan have opened the area’s first garbage-bin cleaning business, and with the ubiquitous presence of plastic barrels, they see an opportunity for expansion to other parts of Southern California. The company has only six trucks operating in the United States, but it is growing with new franchises. “You find that our best audience are the ladies of the household,” Smith said. “The women are always asking the men to clean the garbage can, and the men never do.” Smith’s business partner runs a bin-cleaning company in the United Kingdom. It remains to be seen if America’s tradition of rugged individualism extends to garbage-bin cleaning. But potential customers are out there. The Tans’ bin-cleaning truck was being transported to Santa Clarita by trailer when a man spotted it and called to find out if he could get his bins cleaned in Northridge. That pleased Lina Tan, whose husband says he wants to be his own boss. “So no one tells him anything but me,” Lina Tan said. The Tans, who have two employees and plan to start with about 40 cleanings a day, will charge each customer $9 to have one garbage bin cleaned once a month and $12 if there are two garbage bins. The Tans throw in a recycle-bin cleaning for free. SaniCan dumps its dirty water at sewage facilities, which the company says is better for the environment than when residents clean the bins themselves and dump dirty water down the storm drains. firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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