You might ask, “What’s the big deal? They’re just hauling away my junk, so I’ll just go with the lowest price.” Make sure you are getting real value. Like most home service providers, you have great performers and the not so great.
First, you need to remember that a full-service junk removal company is not like the trash company. The trash company does not come onto your property or into your house. You, in effect, deliver the garbage to the curb where the trash company collects it. Liability to the homeowner is practically zero.
Not so for junk removal. Because junk removal companies come onto your property, you want to know that they are properly insured and licensed. The same is true if you hire a tree removal service.
When considering a junk removal company, here are some questions you might ask.
What is your physical address? If the company has leased commercial space, you know that some landlord has checked their suitability.
What kind of trucks and how many do you have? If the company has multiple trucks designed specifically for junk removal, then most likely a truck dealer and financing company has checked the company for suitability.
What do you do with the junk and debris you haul away? The company ought to be able to give specifics: Lorton Covanta, Ox Road Transfer Station. . . . Last September, I saw a fly-by-night junk hauler at 5 a.m. emptying the contents of his pick-up truck into a dumpster at a condominium complex. Dumping costs run about 10% of the total job costs for an efficient company with commercial permits. By the way, if the company does not have a warehouse, they are limited in how much they can donate and recycle.
What kind of insurance do you have? The owner ought to know that he needs vehicle insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, general liability insurance, and cargo insurance to fully protect the customer. The cost of this insurance can run up to $1,000 per month for each truck and crew. Small, undercapitalized junk removal companies often skimp on these important protections. They may pass the savings to the customer, but they pass along much of the risk, too.
When you look at on-line reviews, consider whether the site ensures that the reviews are from actual customers. Sites such as Angie’s List and Service Magic have reliable reviews.
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Junk King’s warehouse: 7627 Fullerton Road, Springfield VA 22153
Junk King has three 18,500 GVW Isuzu Trucks with custom bodies, ramps, winches, and tools. We have 18 employees on our roster, full and part time. All are citizens, well-screened, and trained.
Junk King is 100% landfill free. We donated to Rebuild and other 501c(3) organizations. We are bonded and have commercial permits at the Fairfax disposal sites for burnable trash and yard waste. We recycle steel at two facilities in Woodbridge. We palletize TV monitors and pay to have them processed for the lead. We have an end-user who takes and recycles e-waste. We have relationships for disposing of concrete, tile at DC Rock. We participate in a dirt-swapping forum.
Junk King is fully insured and bonded. We carry vehicle, general liability, and cargo insurance. We pay workers compensation insurance.
Junk King has more than 50 unbiased reviews on Angie’s List. We earned the Service Star for Excellence in 2011. We have about 40 reviews on Service Magic, where we are the highest-rated junk removal service in the area.