Side of Ranch: Jay Heater
Most of my business ideas over the years ended up in the trash can.
James Lilly's idea started there.
Lilly, who now lives in Sarasota, was visiting Cocoa Beach when he watched with interest as a specialty truck was used to wash trash receptacles.
The idea of a similar business didn't go anywhere for him, though, because he was living in Lancaster, Pa., at the time and the cold winter weather made the cost of such a business prohibitive.
Now living in Florida, Lilly started to dream again.
"Everyone has to be like us," he said. "So I know their trash cans stink. I saw a need."
Does your trash bin stink? Dah!
Early in 2017, Lilly started to put together investors.
Debra Karasick of Nokomis said she had hired Lilly to do work as a contractor and had been impressed. So Debra joined James and Tammy Lilly in the ownership group. Then Anthony and Lori Falcone of Nokomis came on board as well.
Respectable Receptacle was born.
James Lilly did some research and contacted companies that supplied trucks to similar businesses on Florida's east coast. The group purchased a truck and now has leased office space at 8130 Lakewood Main Street in Lakewood Ranch.
While Respectable Receptacle is doing some business in Sarasota since the truck began rolling two months ago, the early focus is Lakewood Ranch, a community where people don't mind paying someone else to do the dirty work. It's also a community where trash bins, in general, must be kept inside.
Residents have accumulated a little something here, so it's OK if they don't want to spray their hose into a slimy trash bin and suffer the dirty water blowback we ultimately get when we try to do such things ourselves.
If you're like me, that doesn't happen very often. In the past year, I think I've sprayed the hose into the trash bin three times. And, besides, isn't that what rain water is for?
Admit it, you're on a par with me.
For $8.50 a month, this new business will blast your trash bin clean with a 2,000-pound, 190-degrees stream of water. It's no different than having someone clean your dog, or your car, or your house.
I can't count how many times I've driven the streets of Lakewood Ranch and seen all the trash receptacles in a row. Why didn't I think of this?
I guess that's what separates the people living in the really big houses in Lakewood Ranch from the ones in the smaller ones.
Whether this ownership group moves up to the big house remains to be seen. Debra Karasick said all the members of their ownership group have unique strengths and it will take a team effort to make their idea work. While James Lilly is the brawn behind the business, doing the physical labor of driving the truck and cleaning the bins, Debra Karasick handles marketing and advertising. Each co-owner has a task.
They are confident. When James drives his truck through a neighborhood in Lakewood Ranch, people actually come out of their homes and flag him down to ask questions.
"We have been well-received," he said. "When I see their reaction to us, it's exciting. We are building this thing out of nothing."
But as with any business opportunity comes challenges. Bins Be Clean had the same idea and began serving Anna Maria Island in September. The owners say they are looking at Lakewood Ranch.
James Lilly isn't worried.
"There are enough trash cans to go around," he said.
(For more information about Respectable Receptacle, call 391-2467)
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