Once considered the bottom of the occupational heap, the more elevated descriptions for trash or junk collection were "sanitation engineering," "waste disposal," and "waste management." Whatever you call it, junk and trash removal has always been big business. A number of waste management and disposal companies that had simple beginnings are now on major stock exchanges.

Some companies have automated waste disposal methods. But automation has not displaced the people who pull up in front of homes and businesses to pick up unwanted items. Not surprisingly, college students, college graduates, retirees re-entering the work force, business owners and industry professionals are making a livelihood out of junk hauling and disposal.

Rapidly growing junk haul companies such as The Junkluggers are growing their help and expanding business through franchising. Owning a Junkluggers franchise does not require a college degree or post-high school training. The company trains its “luggers” in all aspects of hauling and disposal. Luggers also learn the bookkeeping side of the business and get marketing support. Franchises do require startup capital. Buying into a franchise isn’t cheap. But a Junkluggers owner has real opportunity and incentives to grow a business in a base territory. And a franchisee can hire additional employees to help with the loading, lugging and unloading.

Junkluggers uses a different approach to the disposal of unwanted goods. It’s not the usual haul and dump into a junkyard that becomes a landfill wasteland. Junk is sorted before going to the dumpster. Those mementos that are functional or salvageable are recycled, donated or reused. Stuff such as toys, leftover building materials, clothing, appliances and home goods go to charities and non-profits. A lot of furniture has been given to veterans and homeless shelters. Items of value such as vintage wear, rare books, estate jewelry, collectibles and antiques have found new homes in shops, museums, and coin and consignment stores. The disposal process is all eco-friendly or “green,” as founder Josh Cohen as well as research paper experts would put it.

The idea for The Junkluggers came to Cohen when he was a University of Connecticut (UConn) senior studying abroad in Australia. While on a camping trip, one of his friends mentioned earning $100 for helping a neighbor move an old refrigerator. When Cohen returned home, he printed out flyers from a Word document and borrowed his mother’s Dodge Durango to pick up junk. Later, he added a trailer.

Years later, Cohen purchased a pickup truck named Old Rusty. With Old Rusty and the trailer, Cohen expanded the business from Fairfield County, CT to Westchester, NY. Still years later, as The Junkluggers expanded into New York City and Nassau County, Cohen dumped -- that is -- replaced Old Rusty with bright green dump trucks. The green color looked more sustainable and was in thematic compliance with the company’s eco-friendly philosophy. In 2013, Cohen started franchising his way into more junk hauling territory.

The Junkluggers now services Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. The company’s junk luggers go to homes, offices, retail stores, construction sites, and other locations to pick up just about anything that needs hauling away. The junk haul team will deliver donated items to a donation center the customer names. If the donation is accepted, the customer gets a tax deductible receipt within 14 days. The amount on the receipt can offset some or all of the cost of service from The Junkluggers.

Author's Bio: 

a graduate of the University of Phoenix who majored in marketing and currently does various freelancing jobs at UpWork