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Former footy star and wife clean up with Gold Coast bin business

A FORMER high-flying Aussie rules player is planning to make his mark in the franchising sector after building a bin-cleaning business for which he has developed specialist technology.

Dean Odewahn owns and operates It’s Bin Cleaned, a waste-bin cleaning enterprise that has five trucks operating on the Gold Coast, four under franchise arrangements, and has also let a franchise in Sydney.

It’s Bin Cleaned offers fortnightly, monthly and six-monthly contractual arrangements as well as once-only cleaning for enterprises and households.

Now, having substantiated the potential for the business, he has hopes of cleaning up nationwide.

Mr Odewahn says development of the bin-cleaning equipment and creation of the business had its genesis some 10 years ago after wife Charlotte gave birth to their first child, Kai, a son who has since been joined by daughter Lily, 8.

The business represents a major shift in direction for the former footballer — he played with the Surfers Paradise, Burleigh and Labrador clubs — who operated Surfers Paradise Parasail before becoming a father.

“I studied mechanical engineering at Swinburne University in Melbourne but became a tad bored and went travelling before finishing the degree,” he says.

‘I was away for two years and nine months and worked in Canada and then in Edinburgh, Scotland, as a way to fund travel through Europe.

Dean in 2004 during his days in the Queensland AFL wiith the Surfers Paradise Demons.

“When I returned to Australia, I based myself on the Gold Coast and joined the waterspouts business, which I operated for seven years.

“It held a big slice of the market, but parasailing is very seasonal and, when Kai came along, I realised I needed a more regular income.”

Mr Odewahn says that, while he and wife Charlie considered career change possibilities, the catalyst for It’s Bin Cleaned was the stench of dirty nappies in their rubbish bin.

“My sister and brother-in-law were visiting from England in March 2006 and one evening Lee and I walked out of the house to put rubbish in the bin,” he says.

“He couldn’t abide the stench from the dirty nappies and told me to close the bin quickly.

“I knew there were bin-cleaning businesses in Britain, so I started to investigate what appeared to be an opportunity.”

Mr Odewahn spent eight months on research and development, which included a visit to the UK to learn how such businesses function.

Dean and Charlie Odewahn. Photo: Kit Wise

He then set about designing the bin-cleaning machinery, the logo, and choosing the business name.

“I did everything out of my head, albeit with the help of good people, and cleaned my first bin on December 5, 2006,” he says.

“Such a business was relatively untapped in Australia and we worked with the city council and the Environmental Protection Authority to gain a waste-container cleansing permit.

“Then we set out to build a client base and to prove that the business concept would work.”


Mr Odewahn bought his first truck for $4000 and invested $5000 on a canopy, equipment, a paint-job and lining its interior with fibreglass.

The latest vehicle in his fleet boasts press-button, computer-operated, hydraulic bin-cleaning technology.

It hit the road just weeks ago.

“We have proved that the franchisees can make a good living, so efforts will now be directed at developing the franchise business Australiawide,” Mr Odewahn says.

“It is a concept with great potential that will appeal to people who want to work for themselves.”


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