Ever noticed how disgusting outdoor trash bins are? All it takes is one ripped garbage bag leaking inside a bin to end up with a smelly, dirty mess.
And who wants to clean that up?
Thankfully for those in the Lowcountry, there’s now a business that specializes in handling that dirty work.
That’s right, it’s a real industry, with businesses popping up around the country. A quick Google search shows companies that offer the service in Coastal Georgia, the Charleston area and in various other locations in the Carolinas.
Kirk Parker, known by all as simply “Parker,” became interested in the trash bin cleaning industry when he read about it online. He began to research the industry and learned that businesses offering the service had been around for 30 years in the U.K. and only about eight years in the U.S.
In April, Parker and his co-owner and fiancée, Christy Pinski, received a customized truck and launched their new company, Lowcountry Eco Bins.
Pinski also owns the popular local cafe, The Sippin Cow, located in The Promenade.
“Everyone says their bin is super clean,” Parker said. “‘I double bag my garbage. I wash my own can.’ Well, there is nothing you can do that will equal what I can do with my machine.”
The equipment in Parker’s customized Isuzu NPR truck uses 180- to 190-degree water, which he said drastically cuts down on the use of chemicals.
He generally uses a chemical only the first time or two he cleans a bin, and the chemical he uses is biodegradable and eco-friendly.
No chemicals are used on the outside of the bins.
An avid fisherman and one of the founders of the Bluffton chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association South Carolina, Parker is concerned that people don’t properly dispose of wastewater. He said when they wash out their own trash bins, people often just dump the dirty water on the ground.
That water could contain dangerous bacteria, such as E. Coli or Salmonella, and when it gets dumped, it can run off into ponds and rivers, killing fish and other creatures.
When Parker uses his equipment to disinfect and deodorize bins, none of the dirty water ends up on the ground because the cleaning process is done inside the back of his truck.
After cleaning the bins, he disposes of the dirty water in a sanitary sewer.
Parker, who also works full time as a boat mechanic at Black Dog Marine in Ridgeland, already has residential clients in almost every Bluffton neighborhood. He cleans trash bins for short-term rental properties and also services local businesses.
Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina general manager Tony Turner recommends Lowcountry Eco Bins. With all the fish and other trash that is left in the bins outside of the marina and resort, Parker’s service is much appreciated.
“It floored us when they first did it – how clean it was,” Turner said. “The smell went away. They sanitized the bins and didn’t put an ounce of water on our ground. You just have to see it to believe what it does.”
Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.