Leon Kassian, after hearing about the College HUNKS concept from his brother-in-law, made the journey to Tampa, Florida to learn more. The one-stop pickup for junk removal with an eco-friendly twist inspired him to open the first College HUNKS franchise in Canada. Whether they are helping a family downsize, decluttering an office, or removing debris from a construction site, over 80% of all items are recycled or donated to partner non-profits or disposed of with as little impact on the environment as possible. This gives environmentally savvy customers peace of mind about where their “junk” is going, without the stress of having to sort and haul it all themselves.
Team members are well-versed in recycling principles and help customers understand where their items are being taken to. Facility tours also help educate the public about how doing the right thing for the environment is worth the extra cost. In 2018 alone, College HUNKS diverted 613 mattresses and box springs, 392 office desks, and 168 fridges and freezers from the landfill. Attention is given to details, for example, cords are cut off small appliances for recycling and single shoes are recycled into rubber products.
Leon and his team are inspired by their partner organizations, such as Goodwill of Alberta who employ individuals with disabilities, and Habitat for Humanity who help build homes. They are also motivated by a desire to help protect the environment by innovatively finding ways to keep landfill waste to a minimum. Leon says, “Our goal is to become 100% self-sustainable; each and every day we are inspired by thinking of different ways to execute the three R’s. Will we ever get there? Tough to predict but we sure are going to try.”