Finding Treasures in Someone Else's Junk

Green is the signature color of Connecticut company Junkluggers.  It's the company’s central theme.

"My green philosophy with business is to keep as much out of the landfills as possible through donating and recycling,” said CEO and founder Josh Cohen.

Cohen, 26, started this business while he was a student at UConn.

"I was studying abroad one summer in school in Australia and a friend of mine said he made $100 hauling away a refrigerator from a neighbor. I said, that's a great idea. That's a lot more money than I'm making at my part time job," he said.

Now Junkluggers employs 15 full-time employees and has seven trucks on the road. The company does what it says - lugs junk.

"We really take pretty much anything except for hazardous materials. A typical residential customer will have us come to their house and have us take maybe some old furniture, used appliances yard debris or renovation material," Cohen said.
They frequent many basements, attics, garages and yards.

But it's where this junk goes that has such an impact.

Items are donated to charities such as Good Will, Habitat for Humanity and Homes for the Brave.

"It's very common for us to have someone who is moving call us and say we need to get rid of everything in the house because we need to move next week.  So, all that stuff is generally in good condition and there are people out there who don't have anything and could use it," Cohen said.

What can't be donated is recycled.

In about four and a half years the company estimates that it's kept several thousand tons of junk out of landfills.

"It feels really great to be able to be in business and to help people and the environment," said Cohen.

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