Business & Finance

“College Hunks Hauling Junk”: Vans are Green for a Reason

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Credits: Melissa Benno
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MONTVILLE, NJ - You may have noticed the green and orange trucks driving around Montville, with the giant lettering: “College Hunks Hauling Junk.” What you might not know, however, is that the hauling doesn’t just go to a landfill.

“Of the ‘junk’ materials that we haul, we divert 75% away from the landfill,” says owner Stephen Bienko. “We try to form partnerships with non-profit organizations and recycling facilities in order to do that. One of our mottos is ‘Reusing what’s still good -- for the good of others.’”

These non-profit organizations include Big Brothers/Big Sisters of NJ, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Randolph, Unique Thrift Stores located throughout the state, and Goodwill Industries.

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“The larger items such as furniture – couches, entertainment centers, etc. – go to the ReStore. Smaller items like knick knacks go to Goodwill, and we are the largest New Jersey drop-off center for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which is where the clothing goes,” states Bienko.  “When we donate the goods we haul to a nonprofit, they can resell it, and the funds go into supporting their cause. Further, the individual can purchase an item at a drastically reduced price, and that’s a three way win – for our customer, for the non-profit, and the individual.”

Different types of customers contact College Hunks Hauling Junk for their clean-out services. 

“Some people are moving and need to declutter,” says Bienko.  “Some are moving into much smaller homes because they’re empty-nesters. Some individuals are having problems with collecting and they become overwhelmed with a house full of items.” Other customers call because a loved one has passed away and the family needs the entire house cleaned out. “In that case,” says Bienko, “ We’ll hire an evaluator to make sure that items with real value are sold as such.”

But the company doesn’t just haul junk – it also handles moving. “We handle interstate and intrastate moves,” says Bienko. “Moving is the third most stressful thing in life after death and divorce, and someone who is moving should demand a high level of service, which is what we provide.”

Bienko stated that moving is a very personal experience, because movers come into the home and spend eight or more hours removing its entire contents.  To that end, Bienko hires sociable, well trained employees to handle the moving. 

“People often think of being a mover as a dead end job. Our plan is to revolutionize the moving industry and make it a first job. We want to bring in the ‘boys next door’ and teach them about public relations, marketing, and working with clients. We hire better, well spoken, caring, organized people performing the move so our customers feel very comfortable.”

Last week, Bienko was honored as one of NJBIZ magazine’s "Forty Under 40,” which honors “men and women under the age of 40 who have been making headlines in their field and who share a commitment to business growth, to professional excellence, and to the community. To qualify, a nominee had to meet selection criteria that included working in New Jersey and possessing significant authority for decision making within a company or organization,” according to a release from NJBIZ.

“As business and community leaders, these individuals are constantly redefining success within and outside the business arena,” said Thomas Curtin, publisher of NJBIZ.  “We would like to thank and congratulate these 40 outstanding young professionals for their dedication to New Jersey’s future.”

Bienko commented, “It was a great event, and a great opportunity to meet top young performers. It was well put together by NJBIZ -- not only the award, but being able to network with future business leaders.”

Bienko started his business in East Hanover, moved to Fairfield, but eventually came to Montville.

“Montville is a good place for business,” states Bienko.  “It’s a very free enterprise-oriented town. I was able to meet a lot of people in the town government and I felt it was very inviting to entrepreneurs. Montville is central to the highways we travel most frequently, and it has a great demographic. We’ve found our true home in Montville.”

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