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. [email protected] (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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McTeague says he still remains confident prices will go down barring some sort of major geopolitical incident. He says gasoline prices have been way too high over the past month.“I think you’re going to see the speculators get burned and do a U-turn here, and start putting prices down that reflect the realities.”At the other end of the list, the three Prairie Province averages were all still below $1.00 a litre, and all more than $0.20 a litre less than the B.C. average, which was $0.10 higher than the national average.At $1.08.1, it was also nearly a nickel less than the common posted price for a regular litre in Fort St. John, which was holding steady at a $1.12.9.Advertisement “The increase has been very exaggerated on the markets, and I think we might be in for a correction for the rest of the year,” says senior analyst for gasbuddy.com Dan McTeague. “But it’s very hard to make long-term forecasts because so many players involved [are] ignoring supply and demand fundamentals, and that’s why prices remain steadily high.”“Just based on supply and demand, the fundamentals don’t support these higher prices, but it doesn’t have to have higher taxes in British Columbia, but that always adds to why prices tend to be much higher…not so much where you are – Vancouver and Victoria particular.”On the other hand, McTeague says the Canadian dollar’s strong position, if maintained, could result a downward price correction.- Advertisement -“It’s gained $0.08 value in the past five weeks – four weeks , so if oil and gasoline prices begin to tumble as they should –reflecting supply and demand realities – we could see prices well below the $1.00 litre range for the Fort St. John area,’ explains McTeague.This comes at a time when gas prices generally increase during tourism season.“It tends to peak at the end of April, and then it starts to come down, but it takes a couple of weeks for that the happen,” McTeague goes on to say. “But remember, depending on what gas stations have in terms of its capacity reservoir they can hold out or have to replace whatever cost is there – it may take a couple of weeks for theses things to make its way through.”Advertisement That put it $0.14 a litre higher than what gasbuddy.com had as the low-end price in the province – which was $0.98.9 98 a litre at the Prince George Costco outlet.That in turn was the only survey price in B.C. below a dollar a litre, but it resulted in a $0.31 provincial differential because the high end price cited at 15 Greater Vancouver area outlets was $1.29.9.Still things remain much better now than they were a year ago when the B.C. average price was $1.42.9 a dollar, and the national average a $1.37.4.