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March 10, 2010

Believe it or not, there's a new green bin cleaning service in Ottawa

The other day on OttawaStart's Twitter feed, I linked to BINAces Inc., a new business in Ottawa that specializes in cleaning green bins. It's been interesting to see the ecosystem (pardon the pun) of businesses that have popped up to support the green bin. Every grocery store and hardware store stocks the liners, I've seen composting accessories in several stores, and there's a student at Bell High School who's selling home-made oragami bin liners as a fundraiser.

But a company that cleans your green bin? I was curious about the company so I emailed five questions to Brian Ashe, their VP of Sales. Here's his reply - lightly edited:
1. Where did the idea for a "green bin cleaning" service come from?
Green bin cleaning originated in the UK and is now widespread through the US, Australia, Africa and making its way through all Canadian Provinces.

2. Do you know of any other companies offering similar services -- either in Ottawa or elsewhere?
With the growth of green bin programs, many companies are providing home owners an effective method to safely keep their bins sanitized. Companies such as:
  • VIP Bin Cleaning - Toronto, ON
  • Bin Doctor - Halifax, NS
  • BinBlaster - Maple Ridge, BC
  • Lave Bac Bin cleaning - Montreal, QC
  • Fresh Bins Canada - Toronto, ON
3. Can you briefly explain how it works?
BinAces Inc uses a state of the art mobile wash unit that cleans green bins or garbage bins onsite the same day the bins are emptied. We use a self contained wash unit and then deodorize the bin leaving it fresh for the next use. Customers can choose to have their bin cleaned weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or as needed with a one time clean.

4. How much does it cost?
Bin Aces Inc offers a variety of pricing options on our website for green bin users to choose from, but the average cost is $10.50 (per cleaning) for the three annual contracts and we do currently offer a 15% discount for a limited time.

5. I'm ok with just using a hose and some soap to clean out my green bin, just like I do for my recycling bins or garbage bins -- why would I pay for this kind of service?

BinAces Inc is helping others to do their part and protecting our environment as well as making the Green Bin Program in the city Successful:
  • Households that wash their green bin with a hose usually use a harmful chemical which aid in cleaning, we use only green products.
  • Households that wash their green bin and garbage bin in their driveway will use approximately 250 liters of water that becomes contaminated and seeps into our water beds so we’ve used a lot of water and it becomes harmful to our lakes streams and waterways.
  • BinAces Inc uses specialized equipment that filters and recycles the water supply on our mobile wash unit and uses 250 liters to clean up to 250 green bins and dumps contaminated water at a municipal treatment site so the water is properly treated so we are sure not to harm our environment.
  • From personal experience we say we will simply clean our green bin with a hose but the wives of many husbands will say it just doesn’t happen until maggots appear, a child becomes sick in the household, etc so we are here to make sure it’s done and its done properly leaving no mess.

What do you think? Would you use a green bin cleaning service? How messy is your green bin after a couple of months of use?

Ottawa Services & Utilities Guide


  1. For me personally, I don't see the value in paying someone $10.50 to clean what is basically a garbage can.

    I also can't see how anyone would use 250 liters of water to clean theirs.

    Finally, I'd like to see the stats on "most people would use harmful chemicals" to clean their bins. I would beg to differ, but if this is the case, perhaps we need to coach people on how to choose environmentally friendly cleaning products.

    But, to each his own, and I wish the green bin cleaners much success in their business.

  2. Tammy Dupuis6:54 PM

    I have to admit that I looked for these guys to clean my green bin. We didn't do enough research in how to use our green bin properly to avoid the smell and maggots and have now, for the last few weeks left our green bin outside empty. I will be using their service (hopefully only once) since I now know how to avoid the unpleasantness of the green bin program by using proper disposal methods.

    I think this will actually fly, cause I think a lot of us are in this boat and are not likely to stick out hands in to properly clean our green bin. However, I don't see the need for this service on a weekly basis.

  3. Hi, We just had our window cleaned by the best Window Cleaning service provider in Canada, who were very professional & discreet. I highly recommend them.

  4. My name is Dejan Kriek, and I am the Operations Manager of 'Binz 2 B Cleaned' in Oakville, Ontario.

    First off, to Susan Murphy, I imagine the gentleman was saying people would use 250 litres of water A YEAR if they were to clean their own bins. As Tammy Dupuis correctly pointed out, there is not a big demand for this service on a weekly basis. Most of our customers have subscribed to a monthly cleaning with a few asking for bi-weekly.

    All in all I believe this is a good business, however we have been sorely disappointed with the minimal reaction we have received from the residential sector. As with most new services people are generally afraid of change or something different. In the UK there are thousands of people who use this service, however I partly attribute this to the large size of their bins. This has led me to the belief that this service would be best utilised in the commercial and industrial sectors.

    I do feel there are 2 major advantages to using this service in the residential sector. Number 1, you don't have to deal with cleaning stinky, dirty bins or the foul odours that are produced from the garbage juice at the bottom of the bins. Number 2, you will be doing something good for the earth, nobody stops to think that all the water and soap you are cleaning your bin with is running down the driveway and into the lakes and waterways. This all adds up. Shockingly, this seems to be of little importance to many of the people I have spoken with regarding bin cleaning. Quite a few people have openly admitted to not even using their compost bins, due to the smells and sights of a regularly used bin.

    I really feel that people in North America need to take more of an interest in being environmentally friendly in every aspect of life, not just bin cleaning.

    We are so short sighted as we are only concerned with the earth we have to deal with in OUR lifetime. Lets think about our children, and the future too.

    Support your local bin cleaner!

  5. The fact is people do not clean their bins. They should be cleaned for health and hygiene reasons and the majority of people do not have the time, inclination or proper equipment to do the job effectively.
    Here in York Region Ontario we clean smaller bins for $3 a bin, we can even keep a recycle bin in the house all year round and we recycle a lot more as a result. All the best to all bin cleaners out there.
    The Cheshire Green Bin Cleaning Team www.bincleaning.ca


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