Junk Run is a North Shore-based company pioneering eco-friendly and hassle-free residential, commercial, construction rubbish and junk removal. The ladies at Junk Run are challenging the multinational male-dominated waste goliaths to change the way people think about waste removal in Auckland.
Junk Run works with charities, community groups, collectors, repairers, social enterprise and recyclers to re-use more than 70% of the waste materials that are collected using a circular economy approach to their business. It has picked up many environmental awards along the way, and is certified with the international ECO warranty (ISO 14001) for its commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.
Established in 2005 by Fionna Gotts, Junk Run is championing a waste revolution, by avoiding landfill and the dump wherever possible, flipping the traditional waste collection services business model on its head.
When you order a skip or a flexi-bag it always ends up in landfil, along with the bag. Junk Run is different. It sends a truck and two trained staff out to each job to work on the waste in person.
With its fleet of vehicles and highly trained waste minimisation advocates, referred to as “Junk Runners”, the team handles waste requirements for commercial businesses, including landlords and property managers. They are highly experienced in large office building removals and de-fits. From shopping malls, offices, schools and multi-storey buildings, Junk Run has worked with clients such as Auckland Council, ATEED, Auckland Museum, Crockers and Auckland University, helping to repurpose unwanted furniture and other items back out into the community to live another life.
Last year in Queen Street, helping a large company move sites, Junk Run repurposed more than 190 office desks though community groups operating in South Auckland, using its network of contacts. These desks are now being used as dining tables in homes that otherwise wouldn’t have had a surface to eat off, or to do homework on. Around 200 tambours were also sent to the same homes to serve as cupboards and wardrobes. That’s just one of the numerous feel-good stories that happen every day at Junk Run.
Residential work is another area Junk Run specialises in, assisting people daily with the delicate and emotional work of clearing deceased estates, downsizing to move into a retirement lifestyle, Marie Kondo-style clear-outs, decluttering and general waste removal for residential clients. Fionna usually attends these more sensitive jobs along with their other female colleagues in person whenever a call comes to handle a deceased estate or a major downsizing project.
Fioanna says, “Having to help elderly relatives ‘downsize’ is not easy – physically or emotionally, especially when it happens quickly. You are also often wrestling with grief, emotions, financial pressure, their ongoing health concerns, moving them into a new house, and with lawyers and real estate agents. This requires very careful handling as people have very real attachments and memories connected to these items. Having a gentle female perspective and our personal experience is essential for these clients.”
Eighty percent of waste going to landfill in New Zealand comes from the construction industry. Junk Run reduces this impact by reusing and recycling as much of the construction site waste they collect as possible by sorting it carefully by hand. The team also offers waste management consulting before a project even gets underway to minimise the impact on the environment. In addition, construction expert David Wright can provide detailed sustainable waste reports to maximise Greenstar construction site waste reduction and recycling credits.
Contributing to the circular economy takes more effort but it’s totally worth it. As Fionna says, “We care deeply about our community and love that our work has such a positive impact on it. For us, waste is not just a job, it’s a calling.”