So far, the Dog Doo Crew is an army of one as entrepreneur Shane Wieter works to get his new business off the ground. The Aviston resident says he believes there is unserved market for outdoor pet waste removal in the metro-east. He provides weekly, twice-a-week, every-other-week and monthly yard waste removal. "We really doo care" is his business' slogan, and he recently gave business writer Will Buss the scoop:
Why did you start this service?
"Dog feces are full of toxins, like root worms, round worms, hook works, E. coli, salmonella, we all know that stuff is potentially deadly. It's unsightly and smelly. Obviously, kids out playing in the back yard can step in it and bring it in the house. I've had it happen. I have a dog and have kids and I don't want it in the house. I have to clean it up. The contaminants get tracked in the house or tracked in the car or on the bottom of the kids' shoes. The most important thing is making a better play area for kids."
How did you come up with this business?
"Actually, I was just sitting on my couch doing absolutely nothing. I was always thinking about finding something else to do to make money because I've always wanted to work for myself. I wasn't thinking about anything and was not even watching TV when it just came to me. I have a dog and I always have to clean up the dog crap. It was just out of the blue when it came to me. It sounds crazy, but that is just how I came up with it. People pay to get their grass mowed, so why wouldn't they pay to get their dog crap picked up?"
Q: Do you know of any other similar businesses?
A: "I did some research for about three or four months before I started and I found that there is one in St. Charles, Mo., there are a couple in Springfield and bunch in Chicago and more all over the U.S. As far as our area, St. Charles, Mo., is the closest. I don't think there are any in St. Clair County or Madison County, yet."
Q: Do you have any specific methods for picking up the waste?
A: "I walk in a grid pattern from east to west and then I walk north and south in the yard and pick up the waste and get rid of it. I have seen some companies offer a fertilizer program and they will fertilize the all-yellow spots and help get that grass green, again. I don't offer that, but I may try it. We'll see how it goes."
Q: What equipment do you use?
A: "Just a pooper scooper, and I've got sanitary spray bottle with a cleaning agent that I use to clean it so there is no cross contamination. I cover the scoop with a plastic bag as I go through the yard. I scoop it up, tie it up, throw it in the back of the truck and go to the next house."
Q: How do you dispose the waste?
A: "I take it back home and throw it in my trash. I am allowed to throw it in my trash. I have up to six trash cans and I can have the trash cans up to 60 pounds each. Anything more than that, I have to resort to using a Dumpstster. It's pretty much that simple."
Q: When are you available for pick up?
A: "Right now it's before or after work. I started working at 8 and finish between 4 and 5."
Q: Where do you work?
A: "I work in heating, cooling and plumbing. About eight years before, I was at Anheuser-Busch. Then InBev came in and took that job from me. It was a great job. But things change."
Q: What did you do at the brewery?
A: "I worked on the railroad. After InBev shut the railroad down, almost everybody got laid off. So I got into heating and cooling and then gradually got into plumbing."
Q: Where will you go to scoop?
A: "I have been advertising in Belleville, Mascoutah, O'Fallon and Fairview Heights. I'll go just about anywhere in St. Clair and Madison counties."
Contact reporter Will Buss at email@example.com or 239-2526.