Posted by Matt Register

Ivan Martinez, Owner of Bin There Dump That in Houston, talks about managing explosive growth in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.

Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. is the website. Phone number, 844-814-8144 is our 24-hour call in line. Go ahead and get your questions in. We’re gonna get the experts in here to get those questions answered.
I’m your host, Matt Register. Jake Curry’s the one sitting over there in the co-host chair. You know, with the hurricanes and everything happening in Houston, the floods, there’s been a lot of cleanup. One of the interesting companies out of that, and we have them here in the studio, is the dumpster business. Dumpster business has had pretty much a boom since then because of all the cleaning activities that have had to happen in the Houston area. We have Ivan Martinez, who is the owner of Bin There, Dump That in Houston. Ivan, welcome to the show.

Ivan Martinez: Thank you, thank you. Thank you for having me.

Matt Register: Talk to me a little bit about the dumpster business. What do you do?

Ivan Martinez: We rent residential friendly dumpsters, which basically means that our dumpsters are more compact. They range from a four yard dumpster up to a 20 yard dumpster.

Matt Register: Okay.

Ivan Martinez: We deliver them on the back of a 550 Ram truck, so we’re able to fit in some tighter spaces and some areas that the larger dumpsters can’t get into.

Matt Register: But this isn’t like if you need a dumpster to be dumped once a week in purpituity. This is if you have a project, you need to remodel your kitchen, you’re ripping out your kitchen, you need to have a dumpster for a few days and then make it go away. You guys are the ones that do that.

Ivan Martinez: Exactly. So our primary customers are people who are maybe moving or they just want to clean out their garage. They have a bunch of junk and they’d like to just get rid of it in one effort,-

Matt Register: Sure.

Ivan Martinez: … without having to go to the landfill themselves. Or our remodelers, people who’s going to remodel their kitchen.

Matt Register: Oh yeah, remodel, right.

Ivan Martinez: I’ll do some of that. I work with a lot of people who do remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms and so forth.

Matt Register: Well, and in recent months, it’s been people who had to rip out their entire downstairs of their house, right?

Ivan Martinez: Yeah, unfortunately. It’s people who need to tear out drywall. A lot of drywall, carpet filling.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ivan Martinez: So we’ll park a, generally a 15 or 20 yard, dumpster in their driveway. They have back doors on them, so they can open up for easy access.

Matt Register: Okay.

Ivan Martinez: We also protect the driveway, so when we drop it down it literally doesn’t touch your driveway. We put it on top of boards that we developed to protect your driveway.

Matt Register: Well coming in in a smaller vehicle, being smaller sized dumpsters, you can get into places that other people can’t. Is that accurate?

Ivan Martinez: We definitely can, yeah. Obviously we can fit in the driveway perfectly, if you have a two car driveway, we basically take one side of it. You can still get a car in and out. In some occasions, we’ve actually been able to put them inside a garage. It’s a tight fit, but we can do that. So yeah, we’re able to get into places that the bigger trucks can’t get in.

Matt Register: Now this is a franchise out of Canada from what I understand. Talk to me a little bit about that process. Where all have do they have-

Ivan Martinez: I think they started in 2001 in Canada and then they expanded to the United States. They’re all over Canada. Right now, I don’t know how many franchises they have in the United States, but they have quite a few. We cover Texas really well. We’re in El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston. They have very good coverage right now.

Matt Register: So if you are listening to this show, there is a Bin There, Dump That franchise in your area to do this. Is this seasonal? What does the market look like for this? I’m not even sure I even knew this was really even a thing until we started talking during the break.

Ivan Martinez: Well, it’s somewhat seasonal. Obviously in the summertime, you have a lot more people moving.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ivan Martinez: They decide they’re gonna maybe clean out the garage in the summertime or they wanna do that do-it-yourself project. So they’ll give us a call. And people are finding out about us. There’s really no one that really handles this size dumpsters.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ivan Martinez: So little by little, people are learning about us and are calling us. I get a call frequently saying, “We didn’t know you guys existed. I wish I would have known about you guys in the past.”

Matt Register: Sure.

Ivan Martinez: In November, December, January, it stayed pretty steady. It just varies. Different people call us for different reasons.

Matt Register: You know, it’s always a challenge, and we talk to business owners of all stripes here on this show. Any time you’re faced with some rapid growth, it’s always a challenge to get your systems in place,-

Ivan Martinez: Right.

Matt Register: … make sure you’re not outrunning your cash. And all of a sudden you have something thrust on you. You had the floods in Houston, you had things thrust on you to where you had to grow rapidly, immediately. How did you manage to be able to control that growth to where that growth wasn’t harmful for you? This wasn’t you deciding, “I’m gonna grow my company.” It was just all of a sudden the band if out there beyond what you can handle, right?

Ivan Martinez: Yeah. It was exciting, but at the same time we were like, “Okay, here it comes.” That first day after the flood,-

Matt Register: Yes sir.

Ivan Martinez: … the phones were just lit up.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ivan Martinez: Lucky, we did have quite a few bins and I had a few more coming in. I was able to pick up a few more out of another location that had excess bins, so I was able to get those in pretty quick. But it was tough. It was tough. We were able to help everybody that called in.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ivan Martinez: They may have had to wait a little bit longer. We made a list of everybody who called in, we called everybody back. That’s one thing we tried to do very hard, was call everybody back, let them know we got their message,-

Matt Register: Sure.

Ivan Martinez: … and what the situation was. We basically had a waiting list for people who wanted dumpsters.

Jay: So this is a situation where you’re really not there for the long term. You don’t go to a new home being built and let it sit there over nine months while they’re building it. You want this to get in, get filled, and get dumped. Is that different after a hurricane?

Ivan Martinez: No, that’s our model. Between seven and 14 days. We’ll deliver it, the customer will fill it up. Once it’s filled up, they call us, we pick it up, and dispose of it.

Jay: So because they’re smaller, they’re gonna get filled quicker.

Ivan Martinez: In most cases, yes.

Jay: And you’re gonna dump it and maybe bring it back?

Ivan Martinez: In some cases, we’ll bring it back. We call it a swap. We’ll swap it out for them. Or we just pick it up and take it away and dispose of it.

Matt Register: Well give me an idea of size. I’m not a dumpster guy. Your smallest is what, four yard?

Ivan Martinez: Four yards.

Matt Register: What do I fit in a four yard dumpster? Give me a relative size here.

Ivan Martinez: We primarily use our four yard dumpster like if you have some concrete in the backyard, like a four by four slab you wanted to bust up,-

Matt Register: Okay.

Ivan Martinez: … or some dirt in the backyard you wanted to get rid of. We primarily use our fours for that ’cause we can carry more weight in those.

Matt Register: Okay.

Ivan Martinez: I can’t fill a 10 yard with concrete.

Matt Register: Yeah.

Ivan Martinez: You can’t pick it up.

Matt Register: [crosstalk 00:06:58].

Ivan Martinez: We do have our limits when it comes to that. So we’ll use our four or six yard for concrete or dirt or gravel, something really heavy. The six yards are actually pretty popular. If you’re tearing out a bathroom, a small bathroom.-

Matt Register: Okay.

Ivan Martinez: … you can pretty much fit in a six yard. Definitely a 10 yard. For example, if you’re gonna clean out a garage, the 10, 15 yard’s generally the best size.

Matt Register: Okay.

Ivan Martinez: You can fit pretty much all your stuff in there. If you have bulky stuff like couches, things like that, chairs,-

Jay: Kitchen cabinets.

Ivan Martinez: … kitchen cabinets, I generally recommend a 20.

Jay: Yeah. Bulk can be big.

Ivan Martinez: It’s just bulkier. And then of course, it all depends on how you break it down too, when you put it in the dumpster.

Matt Register: Wow, this is interesting. As a homeowner, if you need a dumpster, you call some of the big commercial guys, they’re not excited about this at all. That’s not in what they do.

Jay: Right. And they’re very large. They’re bulky and they’re sitting. This is convenient.

Matt Register: That’s right. They want long term contracts.

Jay: Yeah.

Matt Register: This is specifically designed for the homeowners that are trying to tear out a bathroom or do something as a one time deal. Interesting stuff. Ivan Martinez, owner-operator of Bin There, Dump That, which is a residential dumpster service in Houston, all over Texas really. What’s the easiest way, Ivan, for somebody to get in touch should they want to learn more about what it is you do?

Ivan Martinez: Go to

Matt Register: Tell you what, we’re gonna have that linked right from We’re gonna have links to all of our guests, but we will have it linked right there. Ivan, thanks for joining us sir. This has been interesting.

Ivan Martinez: You bet. Thanks for having me.

Matt Register: All right. We unfortunately are at a break. We gotta go to pay some of our own bills. We’re gonna be back right on the other side of the break with a whole lot more Texas Business Radio. Don’t go anywhere.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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