From protecting Peyton Manning to protecting trash cans

INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Diem is inside a warehouse on Zionsville Road, a massive building more than half the size of an NFL field, a building that smells a bit like a car wash — lemony, crispy, fresh.

Diem owns this warehouse where he rents space to other companies. And where he directs his.

“Thank you for dropping by,” says Diem, 43, a towering 6-6-year-old figure who’s about to share how he rose from protecting Peyton Manning, as an offensive tackle and guard for the Colts. ‘Indianapolis, to the protection of garbage cans against unpleasant odors.

The smells of professional football, inside those sweaty locker rooms, aren’t all that different from the smells of grime and grime accumulating inside a trash can. Diem doesn’t like foul odors. He likes clean, orderly and immaculate things.

“Yeah, I might have a little OCD,” he laughs. “At one point I was cleaning out my own bins because I just couldn’t take it anymore and I was like, ‘Gee, this is awful. There’s got to be a better way.'”

Diem found a better way.

After 11 years in the NFL, all with the Colts, after winning a Super Bowl in 2007 and another Super Bowl appearance in 2010, Diem has become an entrepreneur, from technology to commercial real estate to his latest venture. , Bin Scrub.

This is a company that does exactly what its name suggests. He cleans the trash cans. After the trash is picked up, Diem’s ​​company comes and douses the bins with boiling water, wipes them clean, and leaves them fresh and neatly stacked for the owners to fill with another bag of trash.

Since launching his trash cleaning business in 2020, Diem’s ​​customer base has quickly grown to 5,000 customers. Many of these customers are typical homeowners. But Diem is not going to hide it. Some are former and current Colts players.

“I won’t put them there,” he smiles, when asked to name names. “But absolutely, I mean it’s for everyone. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what kind of money you make. Everyone’s garbage smells bad. There’s no shame in that.”

And that dirty little fact is how Diem got into the trash business. And he’s not sure he ever liked anything else. Except, of course, his wife and three kids, and that Super Bowl ring.

“It must be a thing”

Diem wears a blue polo shirt, a shade quite close to Colts blue. But the shirt he’s wearing has tiny white floating bubbles and the words “Bin Scrub” sewn into the top right corner. Diem traded the representation of the Colts in his No. 71 jersey to represent dirty business.

“Don’t get too close to the trucks,” Diem said as he entered the warehouse. “Sometimes they don’t smell so good.”

How Diem got here in the garbage industry was a twist of fate. He was at his home in Zionsville a few years ago when he saw a truck pull up in a neighbor’s driveway and he saw that truck start washing the trash cans.

“I was like, ‘That’s genius. That’s so clever. That must be a trick,'” he said.

Diem started digging into the industry. He started looking at truck manufacturers. He got serious about getting into the trash cleaning business. But he needed a partner.

He immediately thought of Tyler Taulbee, who had been detailing Diem’s ​​cars for years. “I always thought, ‘Man, if I had the opportunity to hire a guy like him, I’d do it in a heartbeat,'” Diem said.

Diem pitched his trash can cleaning business idea to Taulbee, who was instantly up for it. They traveled to Florida to meet with officials from Sparkling Bins, the world’s largest manufacturer of trash can washing and dumpster cleaning equipment.

Tyler Taulbee runs one of three trucks used by Bin Scrub, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. The service, owned by former Colts player Ryan Diem, has been in operation for 2½ years, provides a service that cleans people's trash cans and recycling bins.

In April 2020 Diem decided the time was right to launch Bin Scrub and with Taulbee as Director of Field Operations the response has been nothing short of amazing.

“We’ve gone from zero to 5,000. We think it’s an industry that should be thriving and it will be,” Diem said. “It’s just a matter of educating people that it exists.”

Bin Scrub has three trucks that service the northern and western Indianapolis area: Avon, Brownsburg, Whitestown, Zionsville, Westfield, Carmel, Fishers, Geist, Noblesville.

With a fourth truck in the future, Diem spends his days working to grow the business through marketing, dealing with owners associations and municipalities, and getting around, just talking to people.

This is his role now. But his role in football, in the NFL and with the Colts, still plays a big role in his life. And as he runs his business every day, Diem said, he uses the things he learned in football time and time again.

“All of a sudden I’m in the locker room with Peyton Manning”

Diem was born and raised in the Chicago area and attended Glenbard North High School in Carol Streams, Illinois. He was a star on the football team and landed a scholarship to play at Northern Illinois University.

He studied mechanical engineering, earning outstanding grades, and he helped transform a college football program.

“We went from the bottom of the MAC (Mid-American Conference) to the top,” Diem said. “We laid the foundation for what has become a really strong program.”

NFL scouts showed up in northern Illinois to watch Diem, a dominant offensive tackle, three-time All MAC offensive lineman and third-team All-American of 2000, who was one of key figures who helped coach Joe Novak relaunch the program.

Diem saw these scouts “and I thought, ‘Man, this is kind of a smaller school situation.’ I didn’t know if (the NFL) was a reality or not. And it quickly became a reality.”

The Colts selected Diem in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He became the first player from northern Illinois to be drafted by an NFL team since LeShon Johnson in 1994.

“It was good,” Diem said. “And then I showed up and I was extremely nervous. You know, all of a sudden I’m in the same dressing room as Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Edgerrin James, Jeff Saturday, Tarik Glenn, etc.”

COLTS26 106122 11/25/04 SAM RICH / INDIANAPOLIS STAR: Peyton Manning, and his offensive line, Ryan Diem at right, dig into a Thanksgiving pie after devouring the Lions.  The Indianapolis Colts traveled to Detroit, MI to face the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2004. The Colts hammered the Lions 41-9.

But when he walked into that locker room, Diem realized that all those big names were people too. “Just guys playing football,” he said.

Diem quickly entered the Colts’ starting lineup and remained at Indianapolis for his entire 11-year NFL career.

“I have to win a lot of games and play a ton of football,” he said. “I played in two Super Bowls, won one and lost one. 2006 was more fun.”

Those memories are great, Diem said. And he won’t soon forget them. They were a big part of his life. And he can relive them every day when customers call him on the phone.

“We have seen a lot of things”

Yes, many Bin Scrub customers know that Diem owns the company. It’s not something he tries to keep secret, that he’s a former Colts player who runs a business.

But sometimes Taulbee, a lightweight, non-6-6 man, thinks he’s Diem as he’s out on routes and clearing out trash cans.

“They’ll come running out and ask for my autograph,” Taulbee said. “I go, ‘Oh, I’m not Ryan. “”

Diem called clients to talk about Colts football, to talk about that 2007 Super Bowl.

“It’s fun to talk to people and some people like to reminisce about the Colts days and I’m okay with that,” Diem said. “It’s a big part of my life.”

Ryan Diem, number 71 for the Colts, holds the Lombardi Trophy after the game with his teammates in midfield.  Indianapolis Colts against the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI at Dolphins Stadium in Super Bowl XLI, Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007. The Colts won the game.  (Sam Riche / The Indianapolis Star)

But the phone calls go far beyond the Colts. It’s a garbage business, after all.

“We get calls all the time. People say, ‘Oh my god, I’m so sorry, this is the worst,’” Diem said. These people apologize for the bad smell of their garbage cans.

But they smell no different than the next-door-neighbour’s trash can or Diem’s ​​trash can in Zionsville or the Indianapolis Colts players’ trash cans.

“Believe me, we saw a lot,” Diem said. “Garbage smells.”

How it works

Bin Scrub cleans, sanitizes and deodorizes trash cans with specially designed trucks that use hot water to kill germs and remove odors. It’s an eco-friendly process that takes the grime and funk out of curbside trash cans in homes.

Residual waste inside a trash can is a breeding ground for harmful germs, foul odors and attracts pests such as rodents, flying insects and their larvae.

Step 1: Bins are steam cleaned and pressure washed with high pressure hot water to sanitize and clean the bins.

Step 2: Sewage is collected and stored on the truck for proper disposal, not left on the street or in the car.

Step 3: A final inspection of the bins, removal of germs and application of an environmentally safe odor neutralizer.

More info on Bin Scrub.

Follow IndyStar sportswriter Dana Benbow on Twitter: @DanaBenbow. Contact her by email: [email protected]