Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Gum removal lucrative business for D.C. man

April 5, 2012

WASHINGTON — Duane M. Cummins makes upwards of $100,000 a year by removing gum from the sidewalks of commercial office buildings, government institutions and college campuses, according to the Washington Post.

Cummins, 49, uses a wand-like contraption to blow steam onto each piece of dried-up gum he encounters, the article stated.

According to the article, after a couple of seconds, a black blob on the sidewalk turns light blue and then disappears into a cloud of steam.

There are three components to Cummins'' gum removal: A water-based solution he buys from a vendor in Georgia, a "gum cart" that turns the solution into steam and a generator that powers the entire operation, the article noted.

The going rate for gum removal ranges between 15 cents and 40 cents per square foot, and each job brings in between $200 and $10,000 for the company, called Gum Busters D.C., the article added.

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