Trash-Talking Macomb Inventor Unveils Latest Household Gadget
John Cundy is the inventor of several household products, the most recent of which is the Trash-ease, a portable trash collection device designed for camping, sporting events, birthday parties and arts and crafts projects.
Spend a few hours with John Cundy and there’s a good chance the Macomb Township father of four will start talking trash.
Trash-ease that is.
A GM sculptor and lifelong inventor, Cundy’s latest product goes by the name of Trash-ease. A metal hanger type device that connects to a table or extended counter top and holds a 13-gallon drawstring garbage bag, Trash-ease is “a creative solution to an everyday problem,” the 47-year-old said of his still patent-pending design.
Inspired by a June 2011 high school track meet, it took less than three months for Cundy to bring his idea to fruition.
“My kids are in track at Lutheran North and we were at a track meet,” Cundy said. “After we were done, there must have been 50 to 70 bottles lying around and no garbage can–it was too difficult to lug it out there. I said, ‘There’s a need here.’”
The next morning, Cundy awoke at 2:30 a.m. to sketch out an idea for a portable, lightweight device that could hold an average-size trash bag and be attached to the side of table or set of bleachers as needed.
Constructing a prototype out of aluminum wire, Cundy tested his product during a family camping trip the following weekend.
“We used it all weekend and I had enough people ask me where I got it that I decided to try selling it,” he said. “Maybe a week or two later I was online looking for wire bending companies, and about a month later we were making parts.”
A Michigan-based product, Trash-ease is manufactured using wire frames from Mid-West Wire in Ferndale and rubber coating from PDM Industries in Traverse City.
“I’ve had a number of people tell me (my product) could be priced out in China and I’m sure it would be way cheaper there, but I had the opportunity to make something here in Michigan,” Cundy said. “There is an opportunity to put a USA flag on this product and keep some work in the state.”
Although production has been fairly minimal to date, Cundy expects sales will increase as people start thinking about summer camping, picnics and sporting events.
“And we should be able to break even,” he said.
However, even if he never sells a million copies, Cundy said it is the thrill of invention that will keep him and his family “creating solutions, one problem at a time.”
“It’s having a need, and filling that need. You might have opportunity to make money and you’re showing your kids that hard work can pay off. Imagination is something that is lacking somewhat in this country at the present time. I know my kids are a lot more creative because of (my inventing).”
The creator of several patented products, Cundy’s advice to aspiring inventors is simple: “You don’t stop. Even though your idea may get stomped on, or costs are too high, you have to keep trying. I think that’s maybe the nuts and bolts of the whole thing. Believe in it enough, and don’t let anyone stop you.”