After years of working in consulting, Matt Barber and Kevin Cecil founded TriStar Bin Cleaning after noticing a lack of resources in one area of household cleaning—trash cans.

“I had been talking with my wife about getting our trash cans cleaned, and I found this [product] that you could sprinkle in the trash can. It was supposed to make it smell better, and it made it worse; it was just awful,” Barber said. “The next thing you know, we’re driving to San Antonio and meeting with someone to help us build a [cleaning] truck.”

The business, which uses a specially-outfitted truck to lift and spray the inside of the bin, was founded in July 2020 and since then has grown to include hundreds of customers, Cecil said. The company serves Williamson and Rutherford counties, and most of Davidson County.

While trash bins are a part of everyday routines for most households, Cecil said people generally do not think about their trash cans until they start to smell, which is a sign that bacteria are spreading inside the bin.

While materials are approved by the Food & Drug Administration to kill bacteria and viruses—including those that cause COVID-19—Cecil said they are safe to use around family members and animals. For most cans, TriStar uses hot water sprayed at 3,500 pounds per square inch, which is more than 50 times the pressure of a garden hose. For larger jobs, TriStar uses a citrus-based cleaner to remove grease and oil.

“That’s the first question people have is, ‘What kind of chemicals do we use? We just use steam—it’s 200- to 205-degree water when it comes out of the nozzles,” Cecil said. “It’s just really hot water blasting inside the bin, and then all that water falls back in. We capture everything we spray in the bin.”

Barber said the company also uses a eucalyptus essential oil following the cleaning, ensuring only environmentally-friendly, nontoxic products are used.

In addition to bin cleaning for both residential and commercial bins, TriStar also offers waste management brokerage services to help neighborhoods streamline waste management properties by negotiating new contracts to simplify trash pick-up schedules while providing cleaning and other services. ••Barber and Cecil said as they continue to grow the business and add more service areas, they hope to remove some of the thinking that waste management is wholly unpleasant.

“Everybody’s opinion of trash is so negative, and it doesn’t have to be,” Cecil said.

TriStar Bin Cleaning


Hours: by appointment only