Junk King keeps its distance from you, but not your trash

Spring is usually full for trash haulage companies, but it’s no longer the usual business for Junk King Houston these days.

“When COVID-19 came out here in Houston, people were reluctant to use us,” said Ryan Melconian, owner of one of Junk King’s three local franchises in California. “They didn’t want the interaction from us to come into their home.”

As the company handles the garbage disposal, it is seen as essential and allowed to continue operating, even if much of the country was closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many Junk King customers spend more time at home with “Stay Home, Work Safe” orders and are increasingly tidying up and making their homes – which in many cases now also serve as offices and schools – as comfortable and functional as possible .

Under normal circumstances, customers would call Junk King and a representative would come out, examine what needs to be removed and how long it will take, provide a quote, and arrange the job.

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Now Junk King has implemented “contactless garbage disposal,” which gives customers the option of putting their garbage outside, on the porch, driveway or curb, or in a specific area of ​​the garage. Customers can make the arrangements and pay online, and receive a typical discount of $ 30 to $ 100 depending on the size of the transport as they do some of the work themselves.

“We get a good answer,” said Melconian.

The freight forwarders, who work in teams of two, wear gloves and masks on the construction sites and disinfect the truck before each collection. As always, they are also equipped with additional safety equipment for heavy work, e.g. B. for clearing places for hoarders.

Private freight forwarders like Junk King could start doing business as some companies and municipalities suspended or scaled back heavy garbage services during the pandemic.

Another change Junk King is making is to find a place in his warehouse to store items like clothing and furniture that are usually sent immediately for donation. Many nonprofits are not accepting items during the pandemic, which limits the number of donations Junk King has made recently.

Junk King, who aims to reuse or recycle about 60 percent of the items picked up,

picks up individual items such as devices or sofas or the truck load. Before discounts, prices are around $ 200 for a quarter of a truck load, $ 300 for a half truck load, and $ 500 for a full load.

The company’s regular employee meeting on Monday in the office and warehouse has been replaced by a conference call in which employees talk about the week in review and the week ahead.

Junk King Houston, who covers the southwestern region of Houston from the heights to Bellaire to Rosenberg to Missouri City, has been doing odd jobs like picking up boxes of bananas, expired cheese for a store, or a collection of VHS tapes of TV shows a The customer had been recording since the 1980s.

Nowadays, Junk King is more often used by residents cleaning up rubble in the backyards to make space for the kids to play in. Customers are getting rid of old playhouses and pulling down sheds to make room for new ones.

“You get rid of old things and get new things,” said Melconian. “Many companies have good deals online.”

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