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[Reno News & Review]
As Seen in Reno News & Review
One man’s junk
Business owner Tim Doss turns trash to recycled treasure
By Ashley Hennefer
This article was published on 12.20.12.
“Seventy-five percent of the stuff I get, I recycle,” says Tim Doss, pictured.
PHOTO BY ASHLEY HENNEFER
More information about Tim Doss and Junk911.net can be found at Junk911.net
“Everything can be recycled,” says Tim Doss, owner of Junk 911. Doss travels throughout the region collecting large trash items from residential households. Go Junk Removal was founded in 2003 when Doss saw a need for a year-round, inexpensive trash pickup service. Doss previously worked in landscaping, but during the colder seasons, he needed a new venture.
“I needed to do something during the winter,” he says. “So I had this trailer, and I just started doing junk removal, and I found that it’s a good business.”
There’s nothing Doss won’t collect, he says.
“I pick up everything—slot machines, cars, boats, anything,” he says. “I picked up a piano yesterday.”
After seeing how other trash pickup services take all items directly to the dump, Doss made it a point to recycle as much as he could.
“Seventy-five percent of the stuff I get, I recycle,” says Doss. “It either goes to a new home, or it gets recycled and reused.”
Doss will sometimes pick up items for free if he knows he can donate them, or if he can easily restore an item to sell it. He can usually evaluate quickly how much certain items are worth once he visits a person’s house. The more recyclable items a person has, says Doss, the cheaper he can offer removal services. Doss says beds and couches are the most frequently requested items for pickup, which can often be easily restored. The only items he can’t recycle are “old, dirty beds, landscaping stuff, sometimes old hot tubs where you just can’t do anything with them. Sometimes you can donate them, but it’s very rare.”
“I donate about 50 percent of what I collect to Salvation Army,” he says. “I’ll also adopt a family, sometimes people who don’t have anything at all, and I’ll bring them furniture and stuff they need from the stuff I get.”
Doss has also furnished his entire house using castaway items, including a stainless steel refrigerator, which needed minor repairs when it was discarded. Most of the time, people get rid of large items because they obtain new furniture or appliances, Doss says.
The most unique item he was called to pick up was a signed photo of the United States hockey team from the 1980 Winter Olympics, in which the team famously beat the Soviet team and went on to win a gold medal. Doss was also called to a house to pick up a full supply of race car equipment, including the car itself.
Other trash removal services are available throughout the year, such as Waste Management’s residential dump days, which happen two weekends a year, but Doss says that cheap services for struggling families need to be more available.
“I’m from California, where, if you leave a pile of stuff in front of your house, it will be picked up,” he says. “There’s no local option like that here.”
In the past, Doss has helped with the local Earth Day celebration and this year’s electronic waste event at Reno High School, which collected “around three truckloads of e-waste,” he says. He also collaborated with the Kiwanis International Bike Program, which collects and repairs bikes for children. He hopes to work more with local environmental groups to reduce waste buildup in landfills.