Junk-Rite, a Gilbert junk-removal and hauling service, is taking the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to the next level.
Since 2017, the company has gone above and beyond to help East Valley residents: Owner Tanya Wilson and her four-person team sort their hauls for items that can be donated to Mesa nonprofits.
“It’s a really cool thing to be able to help the women and children in our community with literally what people thought was junk,” Wilson, 40, said.
Wilson didn’t know much about the junk removal industry when she first started out, as her other business is Priority Pumping, a septic and grease trap pumping service.
But Wilson has always wanted to help people.
“Women and children are a very near and dear thing to me being a woman business owner who has two kiddos,” she said.
Wilson began searching for charitable organizations to work with after she noticed just how many useful items were ending up in landfills.
“There was so much stuff that we were like ‘this could have new life somewhere,’” she said.
Wilson met House of Refuge Chief Development Officer Annette Sellers at a business mixer. The two began chatting and fostered a collaboration between Junk-Rite and House of Refuge to provide household items to women and children who need to furnish their homes after leaving abusive or unsafe conditions.
House of Refuge, which offers transitional housing and supportive services for families experiencing homelessness, has 88 housing units located at the former Williams Air Force Base in southeast Mesa, according to its website. The homes provide safe, stable transitional housing for families facing homelessness.
Sellers sends Wilson a list of things that are needed in these housing units, such as small furniture items, home decor, children’s toys, books, and organizational bins, which Junk-Rite team members scavenge for to donate.
“It helps make these houses into homes for these families,” Wilson said.
If House of Refuge cannot use the items that Junk-Rite collected then these items, which are typically clothing or other soft goods, are delivered to House of Refuge’s community partner, Sunshine Acres.
Sunshine Acres is a children’s home with the mission “to provide a loving, wholesome, Christian home for children who are separated from their parents and help them establish long-term relationships with stable parental figures, preparing them for success in adult life,” according to its website.
“If they can use it, fantastic,” Wilson said. “If not, then they can actually sell those soft goods and be able to raise money to keep their orphanage open.”
Wilson aims to help more nonprofits soon.
“Our biggest goal this year was to slash our disposal dumping times and fees in half, which means you’re taking half the stuff there, and we’ve been very successful in being able to do that,” Wilson said. “In the six months left of our year, I’d love to be able to cut that again.”
Wilson said that Junk-Rite often collects more junk than people can take, so she believes that donating to more charities would not only help families in the community but also cut dumping times.
Local nonprofits interested in receiving donations should contact Junk-Rite at 480-228-3368.
To receive Junk-Rite services, take photos of your junk, text the photos to 480-228-3368 for a quote, then schedule your pick-up. Junk-Rite is available seven days a week and will show up at your convenience.
Though the company is based out of Gilbert, Junk-Rite travels to junk jobs throughout the Phoenix metro area, focusing mainly on everything East Valley.
For a complete list of services, visit junk-rite.com.
“It’s a beautiful thing to be able to help people,” Wilson said.