In the Spotlight with Andy Taylor

President of Junkluggers

Junkluggers of Central VA is an Ashland-based, Richmond area, eco-friendly junk removal and moving company that re-purposes unwanted possessions and donates them for second-chance use.  As President of Junkluggers, Ashland resident Andy Taylor leads a friendly team of environmentally aware movers who want to pass your junk along to local charities.

How did you get started with The Junkluggers of Central VA? Four years ago, after a successful 25 years in corporate business I retired.  After my kids went to college, my wife and I decided to move onto the next chapter of our lives and downsized from our large home in Rockville to a smaller house in Ashland.  After only six months in retirement, I decided that I wasn’t ready to hang my shoes up just yet, but I also didn’t want just another corporate job. 

I was looking at lots of options and then I found Junkluggers.  It was a good fit for many reasons, but mostly because it gave my wife and I an opportunity to give back to the community while allowing us to work in an eco-friendly, green-focused setting. 

As we got into our situation of moving and downsizing, we went from having a big house in western Hanover to a small house in Ashland, and we had a lot of stuff collected over the years. We had a half dozen yard sales, a half dozen trips to the dump, half a dozen trips to Goodwill and it was still more than we could fathom.

Junkluggers reminded me about the process of downsizing. As a result of downsizing, it reminded me of all the wasted stuff out there that can be donated or recycled. As a result of downsizing, it reminded me of all the things being thrown away indiscriminately. 

What services does Junkluggers provide? We haul away people’s unwanted items from homes and businesses for a fee just like our competitors, but it’s what we do with the stuff after we haul the items away that makes all the difference. 

Our competition picks up loads and go directly to the landfill. We bring back loads and decide whether items are going to be donated, repurposed or recycled.  Items that we do not donate or recycle, we try to sell at the warehouse here. We also donate money quarterly to charity.

Which charities are you involved with? The Cameron K Gallagher Foundation is our primary charity for this year. The CKG Foundation works to cultivate awareness and understanding of teenage depression and anxiety. Last year, we donated $3,000 and we’re going to try to break that record this year and we’re on pace for that.

When we do commercial jobs, we work with a nonprofit organization called Unbound RVA. They focus on empowering individuals from low-income backgrounds through the opportunity to own their own business and transform their lives. We also work regularly with Habitat for Humanity, CARITAS, Salvation Army, local church groups and local families in need of furniture and other items. 

What new projects are you working on now? We want to continue to build a stronger foothold in the commercial environment. I recently purchased a big commercial dump trailer that allows us to haul up to seven tons. Our trucks can haul up to four tons. So we are able to do more commercial projects. We are now working with builders, developers, house-flippers, office clean outs, and other businesses. 

What distinguishes Junkluggers from other businesses? My competition, respectively, all do a great job at what they do, but their model is all about doing as much they can do and as fast as they can do it and generate as much revenue as they can. They pick up junk from home and businesses and take it directly to the landfill and repeat. When we pick up junk, magic happens, it doesn’t end up part of a landfill but in the hands of the three or four charities we work with or it finds another home through our warehouse sales.  Items that cannot be donated or sold will be recycled. 

What is your most memorable moment at Junkluggers? I don’t know if it’s a single moment. When I go home each day, I think I can sleep comfortable knowing that I’m doing things the right way, that I’m being environmentally responsible and being a good keeper of this Earth and doing things that will create big benefits in the future. I’m not here to turn a quick dollar. I’ve chosen a different path.

Andy Taylor with Macie-Grey