TRURO – A late start in the season didn’t stop the support from pouring in for Mitchell Johnston.
The 21-year-old opened 360 Bin Cleaning at the end of August, but has been pleased with the support he’s received already from residents and businesses in the community.
The business offers one-time, monthly, and bi-weekly green bin cleaning.
“The idea came from a casual conversation with my father,” said Johston, who grew up in the Hilden and Brookfield areas. “He’s been in the waste industry for years, as has my grandfather, and we thought this might be a good idea.”
Researching the service, Johnston said he’s only found two others in Atlantic Canada offering some sort of bin cleaning service. He’s looked into those in the U.S. and Australia, and turned some of their practices into 360 Bin Cleaning.
Johnston has a secure bin inside the back of a truck that will lift the green bin up over a spray head. During cleaning, all the “gunk” inside the green bin falls into the truck for disposal.
Since opening, however, Johnston has run into one snag – the spray head no longer works due to over pressurizing it.
“This one came with a 12-page manual, and there is one fine detail that wasn’t stressed,” he admitted, noting videos he’s posted to his Facebook page show the service with the spray head intact. He’ll be ordering a new one for the upcoming season, and was using a pressure washer in the meantime.
The young businessman is already gaining some exposure in Colchester County, having won the new Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award, handed out during Small Business Week. The winner of the award saw a membership to the chamber of commerce, as well as $2,500 from the chamber. Local businesses, including Hub Now, stepped up to the plate to offer in-kind services, with the award total of more than $9,000.
“I was really surprised with the outcome,” Johnston said. “I had heard about it from a friend a few days before the deadline. With the tremendous support both financially and in-kind, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to submit an application.”
Finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, and Johnston admits he was extremely nervous.
“It was hard to tell what they took of it,” he said. “There was no thought I would win this for sure.”
With the season having wound down at the beginning of November, Johnston said the winter season will be spent re-strategizing for opening back up come mid-April or early May. He plans on hiring some employees and students.
“There’s enough work to keep them busy,” he said.