The summer of 2007 was a turning point for CleanScapes, an eco-friendly trash collection and recycling company based in Seattle. Chris Martin had founded CleanScapes a decade before in hopes of cleaning up the Dumpsters and graffiti in his downtown Seattle neighborhood. During the start-up days, Martin and his staff would go from building to building, offering to pressure-wash graffiti from storefronts. Business grew incrementally as Martin's reputation spread through the local business community. Then came the game-changing summer of 2007. In one 24-hour period, CleanScapes won municipal contracts to provide trash collection for Shoreline, Washington, and half the city of Seattle. The contracts, which started in 2008 and have since propelled the company's revenue growth, are worth a combined $44 million a year over the next 10 years.
From the September 2011 issue of Inc. magazine