How to Make Money Picking Up Trash (Litter Cleanup Business)

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How to Make Money Picking Up Trash

If you were to create a list of careers that offer six-figure earning potential, would picking up trash be on your list?

If someone asked you for a suggestion of a side hustle that requires no specific skills or experience and gives you the potential to earn a full-time income, how many could you think of?

Probably not very many.

Brian Winch has been earning a six-figure income picking up trash since the 1980s. He started while he still had a full-time job, and the income from his parking lot cleaning business exceeded the salary from his job in just two months.

Explaining the background of his business, Brian said, “I started doing this as a side hustle while working a full-time job in 1981. I wasn’t satisfied with my income or job and decided to investigate opportunities. I didn’t have much money to invest, a college education or special skills, so my options were limited.”

It was actually an experience from many years earlier that caught Brian’s attention. He says, “My dad (who had recently passed away) did some odd jobs to supplement his income, including cleaning up litter outside a nearby shopping plaza each morning before going to work. He had taken me along with him a couple of times, and I remembered it being almost as easy to do as going for a walk – and making money!”

Related reading: The Best Early Morning Jobs

Since his dad had made money picking up trash, Brian decided to try it himself. He contacted some real estate management companies, and with just a few phone calls, he quickly landed work to clean up the litter from three local strip malls.

Now, with more than 40 years in the industry, Brian’s business bills about $650,000 of work per year. He says, “It’s possible to charge your time out at $30-$50/hour.”

Describing the work and the business, Brian says. “This is a service that’s provided daily to maintain a property litter free. It takes only minutes or almost the time to walk a property to clean it. It’s possible to service multiple properties each day. It’s very easy and not much time to build/manage/grow the business.”

Because of his success in what he calls “America’s simplest business,” Now Brian shows anyone how to duplicate it through his book Cleanlots. With this easy parking lot litter cleanup service, many of Brian’s students have been able to replace their full-time jobs.

Brian Winch, 1984
Brian Winch, 1984

Why Picking Up Trash is a Great Side Hustle (or Full-Time Business)

Businesses need litter pickup. Parking lots and outdoor areas at retail stores, offices, and warehouses need to be cleaned regularly, and the property owners and managers usually prefer to pay someone else to do the work rather than doing it themselves.

In addition to making money, your litter pickup business l be helping to clean up the environment.

Here are a few specific reasons why it can be a great opportunity.

1. You Don’t Need any Specific Skills or Experience

Some side hustles require you to have certain experience or skills to succeed. For example, if you have no design ability, your future as a graphic designer is limited.

Picking up trash is simple, and anyone can do it. All you’re doing is sweeping the trash into a simple handheld litter collection tool.

2. Very Low Startup Costs

Aside from basic office equipment like a cell phone, computer, and printer, Brian says there is not a lot that you need to invest in. “A vehicle for transportation, broom, and litter collection
tool are all you need.”

You can easily operate this business out of your home and be profitable quickly.

3. You Can Work Around a Full-Time Job

Possibly one of the best things about this side hustle is the fact that you can make it fit your existing schedule. Brian started part-time while he still had a full-time job. He says, “It surely can be done on top of a full-time job, as my experience proves. I also hire others who have jobs who supplement their incomes.”

Getting started, you won’t need to invest a lot of time to be able to make money picking up trash. Brian explained, “This work can be done in as little as an hour a day. You can market your business and clean one property in not much time.”

Learn more about this unique and surprisingly lucrative side hustle by checking out Cleanlots.

4. Start Making Money Quickly

It’s possible to land your first client and start making money very quickly. Some side hustles and part-time businesses require you to put in a lot of hours before you see the payoff, but this type of business gives you a chance to make money quickly.

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5. Excellent Income Potential

Brian’s income from this side hustle exceeded the salary from his full-time job in just two months. That was more than 40 years ago, but many who have purchased Brian’s manual Cleanlots have earned a significant income while still holding a full-time job.

Whether you want to make some money in addition to your full-time job or replace your job with your business income, the potential is there.

6. The Business Can Be Scaled

Of course, you could get paid to pick up trash as a side hustle and make some extra money if that’s your goal. But the potential to build it into something bigger is also there.

Many people are looking for side hustles that will allow them to make some money AND give them a chance to eventually replace their full-time job.

Typically, the types of businesses that are easiest to grow and scale are the ones that involve work that can be easily passed on to someone else. With a litter cleanup business, you could easily hire someone to pick up trash since there is nothing complicated about it. That makes the business excellent for growing and scaling.

As Brian told me, “You can operate this business as a simple one-person operation or recruit an army of people to do the cleaning for you. Your choice.”

Brian Winch
Brian Winch

How to Get Started and Make Money with a Litter Cleanup Business

After more than 40 years of working in the industry, Brian created Cleanlots, a manual that fully explains everything you need to know to make money with this business.

According to Brian, “Cleanlots is a book that details how to start and operate a simple ‘green’ parking lot litter removal business based from home and starting with little money. It’s written from my experience in this business since 1981. This service is performed on foot using simple hand tools outside commercial properties. I offer free support to everyone who purchases.”

I asked Brian who would be the ideal fit for this side hustle. His response was, “Someone who is motivated to create their own wealth, enjoys working outdoors and working by themselves. Male or female.”

Getting started is not complicated. Brian recommends contacting property management companies and asking who deals with their litter maintenance to speak with the right person. With low start-up costs and a small amount of time needed to do the work, it’s a realistic option to get paid to clean up trash.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make money picking up trash?

Yes, you can. The most realistic and lucrative option is to start a parking lot cleanup business and offer your services to property management companies. The parking lots of office buildings, strip malls, hotels, apartments, and other buildings must be cleaned regularly. You can offer services to pick up the litter regularly to keep it clean.

How hard is it to pick up trash for money?

It’s not hard, and anyone in good health can do the work. It simply involves sweeping trash into a collection device. Of course, to get paid, you’ll need to find clients. That’s not as hard as you might think, though, as property management companies need people to provide this service.

Are picking up trash jobs legit?

There are legit jobs related to trash cleanup. It’s also a business opportunity for anyone who wants to start a business for a part-time or full-time income. While it may not be the most popular type of service to offer, it’s a necessary service, and it’s possible to make a full-time income by starting this type of business.

How do I start my own parking lot cleaning business?

All you need is basic equipment (a broom and litter collection tool) to do the work. You can contact property management companies in your local area and offer services to clean their parking lots regularly (weekly, for example). You’ll be profitable as soon as you find your first client.

What is needed to pick up litter?

You’ll need a broom and a simple trash collection tool to sweep the trash into. You’ll also need a vehicle to get from one job site to the next. You don’t need any specific skills or experience.

How much does it cost to start a litter removal business?

The necessary equipment/tools cost less than $100, assuming you already have a vehicle for transportation to and from jobs.

How much money can you make with a trash cleanup business?

You can bill anywhere from $30/hr to $50/hr for your service. You can either do the work yourself or hire someone to do the work for you and focus on running the business. By outsourcing the work, it’s possible to grow the business to a six-figure income.

Final Thoughts on How to Get Paid to Pick Up Litter

Many people are looking for ways to make money, whether part-time or full-time. While there are plenty of side hustle possibilities, many require specific skills or experience. Those that can be done by just about anyone tend to be low-paying. But starting a parking lot trash cleanup business is the exception.

If you’re looking for a business that you can grow quickly into a full-time income, this is an opportunity you may want to consider.

Learn more about this unique and surprisingly lucrative side hustle by checking out Cleanlots.

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