A ‘can-do’ attitude: West Fargo man launches trash can cleaning business
Dr SaniCan News — WEST FARGO — When Brian Schielke left a career in health care in 2014, he set out to find “something new for Fargo.”
His quest took him as far away as China, but it was back home in West Fargo that he found his big idea online.
Last month, Schielke launched Dr. Sani Can, a new curbside trash can cleaning business serving Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo.
It’s a service that got its start years ago in England and is now making its way to the U.S.
“Our garbage cans are a host of all sorts of bacteria,” Schielke said. “With 20 years in health care, I recognized the importance of disease control and handwashing.”
First, Schielke inspects the garbage can and removes any bulk garbage. He then sprays the can with a biodegradable detergent and loads it into his custom trailer, where a pressure washer shoots 170-degree water into the can to remove any stuck-on debris. He inspects the can again and uses the pressure washer wand to address any difficult areas. He concludes by applying a disinfectant.
“What the hot water won’t kill, the disinfectant will,” he said.
Dave Bender launched a similar business called Can Clean last year in Bismarck. His best customers are day cares, fishermen, dog owners and the elderly, but he said it’s better for everyone’s health to have their cans professionally cleaned.
“There’s fungi growing in there. Every time you open that can, you’re getting a woosh of that in your face,” he said. “People who are sensitive to allergies, they might think about changing their furnace filter and putting an air system in their house, but every time they take out their garbage, they’re getting a face full of who knows what.”
He said it’s important to wash the cans with hot water. That’s why using a garden hose or traditional pressure washer is not as effective. Furthermore, he said the wastewater will simply be a problem on the driveway rather than inside the can. Both he and Schielke obtained permits to dispose of their water at a local water treatment plant.
He said another perk is that a clean garbage can is less likely to be targeted by animals.
Bender’s business has doubled since he began, and he plans to add additional trucks in the near future.
Schielke expects Dr. Sani Can to catch on here as well. He’s got three months to grow his client base before he shuts down for the winter.
“The customer base is small, but growing almost daily,” he said.
He said none of it would have been possible without the support of his wife, Jasmine.
“It was almost two years that I’ve been out of work. She supported me in my research to find something different,” Schielke said. “I’m so eager. I just want to start washing cans.”
What: Dr. Sani Can
Phone: (701) 541-6536
Online: www.drsanican.com or search for “Dr. Sani Can” on Facebook
Cost: $36 for the months of August, September and October. The charge for a one-time cleaning depends on the can’s condition.