THE ROADBLOCKS STANDING BETWEEN US AND OUR VISION
When you’re committed to a vision, you won’t let roadblocks deter you.
Our junk removal company started off small — door-to-door fliers and a Dodge Durango SUV — but grew because we were meeting our mission to keep junk out of landfills. Progress was gradual because our goals were too small. We needed to think bigger. We needed to create a vision that would not only change our business, but also the world.
Our vision is a greener future by using junk removal services that prioritize donating, recycling, and re-purposing.
There are always roadblocks and naysayers to prevent you from achieving what you want. The road to success is full of potholes and speed traps. I’m going to cover what we’re facing on our journey to accomplishing it.
WE NEED MORE CONNECTIONS IN THE RECYCLING INDUSTRY.
There are some absolute limitations on what can and can’t be recycled, so this is fundamentally in the way of achieving our BHAG. If we want to create zero waste, we’re going to need to work with people who know alternative ways to re-purpose items.
Terracycle is a recycling company helping our cause. They work with corporate donors to turn products into raw materials for use in new products. But they can’t handle everything alone. We need a larger network of industry professionals who will understand and support our cause.
WE NEED MORE EMPLOYEES.
We continue to grow, but we need more people to keep up with increased demand. If we don’t, our internal inventory will back up to the point where we can’t distribute, re-purpose, and sell the items we remove.
Our franchising growth strategy is spreading The Junkluggers name far and wide, getting more people involved in new places. It’s a great first step toward growing our team.
WE NEED MORE TRUCKS.
We’re increasing our reach over time. We only operated in Fairfield County, CT in the early days, and now we’re active throughout the entire country as new franchises open up all the time. We’re excited about these new markets, but it also means we need more trucks to cover more routes. We need to make the process from pickup to recycling drop-off as efficient as possible.
WE NEED MORE CREATIVE RE-PURPOSING.
We created our Remix Store to give unwanted items a new home. It’s a refinishing shop we established for up-cycling furniture and other household items. It’s how we embrace up-cycling.
But when items can’t be refurbished, we need creative solutions for combining different materials to create something from nothing. Furniture that is treated with chemicals and finishes has to go to the landfill, for example — no questions asked. So we need a better way to reuse these things.
A LACK OF EDUCATION.
Education is a crucial factor when you want people to use or adopt something new. A lack of knowledge commonly keeps people from doing their best work. We believe that education about the recycling industry will be a great first step to changing business as usual.
We’re not talking the big-picture education — everyone already knows it’s important to recycle. We instead need to educate the government and the public on how recycling works, and how it’s gotten more difficult. Many people only see the finished product, not the work that goes into it.
FEWER RECYCLING RESOURCES.
There has been little change in recycling infrastructure. There is a lack of recycling options and specialized recycling centers despite corporate America’s push for greener practices.
We need more options, especially after China passed its National Sword policy last year. The regulation restricts 24 types of solid waste, from unsorted mixed paper products to certain types of plastics, from being recycled there.
We are doing our best to take more control over what happens to the junk we pick up so it doesn’t end up as landfill fodder. But we need help along the way.
MINIMAL RECYCLING REGULATIONS.
Profitability from recycling decreases as recyclables become less attractive. There was increased incentive when recycling was free. Now it costs money. It should be easy to be environmentally conscious, yet regulations work against us.
Regardless of your industry, there will always be internal and external factors holding you back. You just have to be strong enough to keep the naysayers at bay.
Our vision is a combination of values, our mission statement, and plenty of team feedback. It clears the fog when there is a question of whether or not to pursue an opportunity. It’s something we can point to and say, “We should do this because it aligns with our mission.”
We’re using our vision as our motivator to bulldoze every roadblock in our way. The road to a more eco-friendly future isn’t blocked off. You just need to take a few detours to get there.