Mark Stoneham has built a business around taking out the trash.
SAN DIEGO — Mowing lawns and paper routes may not be around anymore when it comes to making extra money for kids, but one young man in Southern California has come up with an idea. He’s taking out garbage cans for people to earn extra money.
“The name of my company is Curbsidecansvalet.com. I have water polo four days a week and lacrosse Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said 11-year-old Mark Stoneham.
But on Sunday, he’s all business. That’s when he takes the cans out and he brings them back in on Monday.
The idea for the business came from a series of coincidences.
“I was talking with my grandpa and he told me he used to have a paper route. And I remembered this book I read, ‘Way of the Kid Warrior’ by Jocko Willink. And he had to think of things people didn’t want to do,” said Mark.
Then in a random conversation with his dad, that something came up.
“He said to me he hates doing the trash and I said, ‘Hey, maybe that’s something I can do,'” continued Mark.
That’s when mom helped with flyers and brother Matt and sister Allie also jumped in and helped pass them out. Mark even has a website.
“My dad’s really good with computers so he made that,” Mark said.
For Joe Norris and his wife, the service is great.
“For us, it was a little of two main purposes. One that he was conscientious enough to take them out and not let her (the couple’s dog) out and the other was that when we’re out of town that we knew the trash would be taken out and pulled back in,” Joe said.
A lot of Mark’s clients are elderly and find it hard to put the trash out.
“It feels amazing, ’cause you’re helping someone who can’t do it,” said Mark.
And that makes a Harrison Stoneham smile.
“The discipline of every Sunday, no matter what he’s doing, every Sunday he’s putting the trash out and on Monday doing the same thing,” Stoneham said.
Mark is willing to share the spotlight, too.
“My sister and brother, Allie and Matt, have been helping. They’ve been passing out flyers and have gotten me some business, too,” explained Mark.