Our Vision: Zero Junk In Landfills
Go through life acquiring all the junk you want. But please, just remove it sustainably when you’re done.
Sustainable junk removal is one of the first steps we can take toward a greener future. Junk removal services that embrace eco-friendly practices can be forces for good in the environment and the community. We showcase this dedication to sustainability in our green guarantees. We even echo it in our service promise to customers and our mission statement.
But sustainability doesn’t have as large of an influence when it’s supported by just one person or one company. For sustainable junk removal to have an impact on a larger scale, we need to elevate it to the national level. The best way we knew how to do this was by getting everyone on board. But how?
We created our vision and sent it out into the world.
With our core beliefs and passions in mind, we created our vision: a greener future by using junk removal services that prioritize donating, recycling, and re-purposing.
Here’s what we did to create this successful vision:
- We tied our vision to something greater than our company. Protecting the environment is a huge cause that everyone — employees, franchisees, and customers — can get behind.
- We made our vision specific and exciting. It should be something that reflects our commitment to the environment and the community. We wanted it to be something everyone could support.
- We made it something real. We thought about how we could positively impact industry issues. If we tied back to these problems, we would hold ourselves more accountable. If we were successful here, then we could take our vision global.
- We made our vision stick. Once we created it, we made sure every employee and franchisee knew about our vision. We talked about it constantly, put up reminders throughout the office, and made sure our website copy reflected it. We also reinforced it in our daily operational practices and throughout our marketing messaging. There shouldn’t be a single moment when we aren’t thinking about whether or not our actions are in line with our vision.
This is no easy task to accomplish. It’s not something that we’ll accomplish in a year (or even five), but we’re determined to get there. Here are just some of the things we do to work toward zero junk entering landfills.
We’re sticklers for recycling — Josh was the precocious recycler in his childhood home. But our dedication to recycling is important because about 25 percent of the stuff we try to recycle is too contaminated to go anywhere but the landfill. This is causing landfills to max out and pollution to run rampant.
Sustainable junk removal services recycle everything that can be recycled. We have a process in place to make sure this happens every time. We carefully load everything from a customer’s home, then we begin to sort it. First we determine what gets recycled, and the remainder gets donated or re-purposed. We recycle materials like glass, plastic, textiles, and even metal. We even take more complex items like e-waste (we’re looking at you, old TV set) to special recycling facilities. Check out the full list of items we take.
Recycling positively affects the environment because companies can reuse materials in other products. When manufacturers use these recycled materials, they’re also using less energy and fewer natural resources. This directly supports our vision of a greener future.
One of the biggest disconnects we see in today’s society is the impact of junk on the environment. Communities keep garbage incinerators and landfills far away, perpetuating an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to junk. It's dangerous thinking. These places harm the environment, and most people don't even see it.
Garbage incinerators brand themselves as an easy way to get rid of junk. There are presently86 incinerators across 25 states in the US, emitting hazardous air pollutants like mercury, lead, and carbon dioxide every time they burn junk. Burned trash also creates ash and sludge, both of which are environmentally dangerous.
Landfills are no better. Many older landfills weren’t properly constructed to keep junk from affecting the environment. They excrete leachate, a combination of moisture and junk seepage. This mixture contaminates the surrounding soil and water with hazardous chemicals.
Many waste management companies construct newer landfills to be more environmentally conscious. They include layers of clay, membranes, drainage systems, and methane pipes. But these precautions don't solve the problems that stem from burying our junk in the ground.
Educating the community about the dangers of improper junk removal is the best way to bring awareness to our junk problem. We’ve done this through our Follow The Junk educational guide and by pushing for green measures — we call it “passive philanthropy.”
Even when The Junkluggers was just Josh in his mom’s SUV, it always donated junk first. We partner with local charities to donate clothing, furniture, building materials, and many other items. Donating and recycling go hand in hand when it comes to being green and caring for the environment.
We’ve had some incredible experiences thanks to our relationships with local charities. In one instance, we were able to refurbish and donate a piano to a retirement home. That piano brought new life for residents there and created a sense of community. They even sent us a photo of everyone gathered around it. These moments demonstrate that when we execute on our vision, it changes lives everywhere.
Through giving back, we show communities the power of sustainable junk removal.
One of the problems with junk removal is recycling bulky items. Furniture and appliances are difficult to recycle because of the materials they consist of. A majority of furniture items possess chemicals used to treat them. This can give them an appealing finish or added protection — but we can’t recycle any sort of treated wood. We needed to come up with some alternative methods for couches, tables, and other furniture so that these things didn’t populate our landfills.
It’s a shame to see these things end up destroyed or polluting a landfill. Consider that it takes typical wooden furniture at least 13 years to decompose in a landfill. It would be much better if someone else could enjoy it instead of leaving it to rot over time. That’s why we started the Remix Market store.
A majority of the furniture we pick up is a little rough around the edges, but still quite usable. We take these items to our Remix Market store and give them a bit of TLC. Whether it needs new paint or upholstery, we refinish items and make them beautiful again to sell at affordable prices. A portion of the sales from these items goes to one of our local charity partners.
It was a customer’s idea. “Hey, you should really franchise this thing,” he said. And as Josh considered it, he realized the customer was right. Junk removal wasn’t something that customers needed in one specific area. The business model could flourish anywhere. We just needed to offer a ton of value to customers while staying within a price point that isn’t considered “premium.”
New franchises in previously untapped geographic areas also meant that we could spread our vision further. Sustainable junk removal didn’t have to happen in the New England area. It’s something that everyone can be a part of, whether as a franchisee or a customer.
Our vision isn’t limited to only our business — it’s much bigger than that. We want to be able to share our mission, values, and messaging with others. It helps everyone see how our short-term actions can have negative long-term effects. If everyone mindfully recycles and donates, then we can sustainably find a home for any remaining junk.