How We’re Saving The Planet With Eco-Friendly Junk Removal
The planet is aging, and our actions deteriorate it rapidly.
Society is advancing at an impossibly fast rate. We’re consuming more products and materials than ever, which means we’re throwing away more, too. This forces us to create new ways to get rid of the junk we create. Our landfills and incinerators can’t satisfactorily keep up with demand while also preserving environmental values.
But we have a solution: sustainable junk removal.
The Junkluggers founder Josh Cohen always had a passion for the environment — a direct result of his parents kicking him outside as a kid. He developed an early love for hiking and an affinity for protecting the nature that brought him joy. When he founded The Junkluggers in 2004, he incorporated these passions into his business model. Now he had an opportunity to focus on sustainability at scale.
Sustainability remains at the core of our business. Here are some of the ways that we “bleed green” and do our part to save the environment, one lug at a time.
We care about the environment, so we do our absolute best to recycle everything that we can. Our landfills simply have too much junk in them, especially junk that’s recyclable. The problem is most people don’t know what they can and can’t recycle. They just throw things away instead.
Our services make that chore a piece of cake. We recycle:
One of our short-term goals is to completely eliminate cardboard and metals from ending up in landfills. And we’re proud to say that we’re almost 80 percent of the way there.
But our recycling efforts don’t stop there. We recycle many other items beyond your standard recyclables.
We take more complex junk like TVs and appliances to specialty recycling centers. We also take e-waste, which is a growing problem now that technology is advancing faster than ever. Although e-waste only represents 2 percent of the waste in America's landfills, it accounts for over 70 percent of all toxic waste. That’s definitely a good reason to find ways to recycle it or carefully dispose of it.
When Josh started The Junkluggers, his vision was to donate or recycle everything. It was even on the first flyer he stuffed in mailboxes (until he received a cease-and-desist letter).
To this day, we still work tirelessly to recycle or give back. Being a force for good in our communities and for the environment runs deep in our company. Anything that we can recycle gets separated, and we donate or repurpose items that are in good shape.
By donating through our charity partners, we’re able to impact our local communities. “People” is one of the three pillars of sustainability, and it’s something we consider with every job we take on. When we give back to the community, we walk away feeling good. But we wanted to extend these good vibes further, so we created the Remix Market.
The Remix Market is a new extension of The Junkluggers. It’s our way of giving items we pick up a second chance at a useful life. During the junk removal process, we identify lightly used items that would benefit from a little TLC. We take these to our warehouse and clean them up to make them as good as new. This may include adding new upholstery, paint, or refinishing. Then we sell them in the Remix Market store at affordable prices. This gives people access to quality furniture for cheap. It’s also in direct alignment with our vision of keeping junk out of landfills.
Franchising The Junkluggers wasn’t initially part of the plan. It happened because a customer spoke to Josh and said, “Hey, why don’t you franchise this thing?” Josh slept on it and realized that professional, sustainable junk removal wasn’t unique to the Tri-state area. It was something everyone around the country could benefit from. So he opened up franchising to entrepreneurs who shared his vision of a greener future.
Franchising is often associated with retail chains and fast food establishments. But franchising applies to many more industries and types of businesses. It also has a multitude of benefits:
- Franchising promotes entrepreneurship. Not everyone has the money or the tools to start their own business from scratch. But franchises are a close second to starting on your own. We provide the foundation to our franchisees and let them run their operations. These new franchises also offer new “green collar” jobs around the country.
- Franchising grows the business in new markets. The Junkluggers started in Fairfield County and slowly expanded to the surrounding Tri-state area. But we also have a presence in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and many other states.
- Franchising creates new ideas. New people bring in new perspectives. We've seen established entrepreneurs, former business owners, and families express interest in franchising.
- Franchising spreads the vision. Our vetting process makes sure that our franchisees support the company’s mission, core values, and vision for the future. We want our franchisees who are thrilled to be part of something much bigger: a commitment to a greater social purpose.
The franchise options weren’t something we made available until nearly 10 years after we started. Even though franchising creates different challenges and new requirements for winning, it’s worth it. We wonder why we waited so long.
We have a vision to keep all the junk out of landfills. It’s definitely ambitious, but we know we can achieve it. One of the best ways to do this is with three kinds of people: our franchisees, employees, and customers.
It’s important to educate our franchisees because they’re the ones who help spread our message. We ensure that all our franchisees share our core values and mission statement through a careful vetting process. We also provide them with everything they need to build their business locally.
We train each of our employees right from day one. We educate them about which items we donate and which we recycle. It makes the process of lugging away junk that much faster and more effective.
It might sound silly, but it's important for us to hire nice people, train them well, and keep them happy by creating a good work environment. Nice employees will always embody the company's message in all that they do. And nice employees always want to get better. That's why we also recognize their achievements and coach them through their weaknesses.
When we arrive at a job, we are timely, neat, and professional. These attributes are at the core of being a mensch (one of our core values). It can be uncomfortable for customers to allow strangers into their home. To ease these concerns, we show customers we’re treating their sentimental objects with care. We also educate them on what will happen with their items after we remove them. We sort everything we pick up in our truck or back at our warehouse. We first determine what we can donate, then what we can repurpose or recycle.
Our dedication to providing eco-friendly junk removal services is one way we’re doing our part. With sustainability guiding everything we do, we can positively affect our communities, environment, and planet. As more people get on board with our vision, we have a better chance of preserving the planet for future generations.