A new trash collection company with an unconventional business model wants to use your garbage for good.
Fort Mill native Ryan Sanderson hopes to set his new company, Scraps, apart by offering unparalleled customer service with an emphasis on hiring employees with autism.
With Scraps, the trash never makes it to the road, but is instead picked up at the customer’s door step. The repetitiveness of going from house to house collecting trash at doorsteps may seem mundane to some, but the job is a perfect fit for many people on the autism spectrum, Sanderson said.
“Their attention to detail is so good, and they’re completely OK with doing repetitive work, even if it’s physical work,” he said.
For every 500 customers, Sanderson can hire two full time employees. His long-term goal is to have at least one full time employee with autism for every truck they put on the road.
Sanderson, who recently moved to Rock Hill, got the idea for the business driving through Fort Mill and Rock Hill and seeing long lines at trash and recycling collection centers run by York County.
“There is a need,” Sanderson said. “Convenience centers are packed; They’re overflowing across York County.”
Scraps is currently operating in Fort Mill, Tega Cay, Rock Hill, Clover and York, with plans to expand into Hickory Grove, Sharon, Smyrna and the McConnells area of Rock Hill. Scraps customers are, for the most part, residents living outside town and city limits. While the company is permitted to operate within the town or city, many potential clients live in areas already contracted for trash services with the respective municipalities, Sanderson said.
The weekly garbage pickup service costs between $19.99 and $39.99 a month, depending on trash can size. For the two lesser cost plans, with 45 and 64-gallon cans, respectively, customers must provide their own trash can. The most expensive plan allows for a 96-gallon can, which the customer can either provide or purchase from Scraps.
The company also hauls away large furniture items and appliances.
“I’ve had people say, ‘Ryan, your service is a little expensive,” Sanderson said. “I would almost equate it to, the city is QT and we’re Starbucks. At the end of the day, it’s a luxury service.” But at the same time, Sanderson said he doesn’t think the cost is “exorbitant.”
Sanderson thinks potential customers, especially in more affluent areas, will be willing to pay more for a higher and more personalized level of service. He also foresees that, eventually, the community will buy into the company’s business model of hiring adults with autism.
“If people realize what we’re doing, I think they’ll be OK with paying a little more,” Sanderson said. “I think if they understand that their garbage can put someone who otherwise wouldn’t have a job to work, that’s pretty impactful.”
In addition to Scraps’ inclusive hiring practices, Sanderson also lauded the positive environmental aspect of using small trucks with trailers rather than traditional city garbage trucks. He called garbage trucks the “second biggest pollutant on wheels in America,” behind 18-wheelers.
Garbage trucks also take a toll on city roads because of their size and weight – a weight equivalent to “almost 4,000 cars on the road,” Sanderson said. “That’s murder on roads.”
U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-Indian Land) praised Sanderson’s inclusive hiring plan at the company’s recent ribbon cutting ceremony, saying that the practice will give people with special needs another opportunity to positively impact community development.
“I wish (Sanderson) well. I hope he gets to hire a bunch of people,” Mulvaney said.
“The Fort Mill area is tremendously vibrant. I think (Sanderson) is in the right place at the right time. We’ll see if he has the right service.”
For more information, visit takemyscraps.com or call 803-620-1747
Kelly Lessard: firstname.lastname@example.org, @KellyLessardFMT