Here's a brain teaser: What's ten feet long, five feet deep, eight feet wide, and shines a bright purple, yellow, black, and green? It's The Junk Monster !
Okay, let's retrace our steps a little. A Junk Monster? Yes, well sort of. For an applicable price,The Junk Monster, a company owned by Jeffery Keesecker, of Winchester, will come to your house or business or river lot or parking lot and eat up any junk you need taken off of your hands. If you've got something you need to get rid of—anything old and ugly, rusted, non-operational, or just a behemoth piece, like that old armoire that's been taking up space for too many years - you need to give The Junk Monster a call.
The purple and green monster on the truck (which has started to develop its own celebrity) is a catchy logo that gets adults to take a second glance, and gets kids pestering their parents: "Hey, Mommy, Mommy, look at that truck!" Keesecker is the sole proprietor of The Junk Monster. The business provides junk pickup, removal, and cleanup for residences and businesses, and will remove almost anything nonhazardous. Unlike a boring old pickup truck— unremarkable and restricted size wise—the gargantuan, multi-colored Junk Monster makes a commanding and menacing presence, at least in the face of junk. There seems to be no limits to the Monster's appetite for common disposable items. It can work in the dead of winter or in the summer's sweltering heat. It's all in a day's work.
Prices go by volume instead of hours worked. At full capacity, the Monster can hold 5-6 pickup loads of "stuff." For a full load, the consumer would pay $550 says Keesecker. Prices vary, but the minimum is $175 which is about the size of a refrigerator or couch. A quarter of a truckload will cost around $325, and a half load will run $400 Keesecker, who just started in late June 2011, hasn't done much promoting because, quite frankly, the Monster sort of takes care of that.
A former Air Force sergeant, and a Radiology Technologist by trade, Keesecker, a Martinsburg native, aimed to change the image of the junk man. "There are fly-by-night junk dealers. Our goal was to clean up the image of junk removal. We didn't want to show up with an old truck with no company name on it." Instead, he and his crew set out on their mission(s) with a clean-cut image. They wear lime green polo shirts, matching the Monster, and khaki shorts or pants. They seek to be completely above board when it comes to junk; people don't have to worry about their couch or fridge being chucked to a ditch along a road somewhere. And, of course, The Junk Monster is fully insured. "A lot of companies are operating under the radar," Keesecker admits. "They can sue you if they get injured on your property and they don't have the proper insurance. And it gets worse. "If they drop a refrigerator on you, you can't sue them."
For people who don't have the time, the truck, or the physical ability to haul junk from their attics, living rooms, garages, or yards, Junk Monster fills a giant need in and around the Panhandle. Free estimates are obtainable, or they'll haul your junk on the spot. Service is available 35 miles from Winchester, including West Virginia. Just about anything can be picked up and hauled, except for hazardous materials. Everything from toasters, VCRs, televisions, couches, swing sets, pools, refrigerators, washers, dryers, clothes, books, and CDs end up becoming breakfast, lunch, or dinner for the Monster. Trees and brush are also on the menu.
Additionally, Keesecker is certified by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to haul tires— there is a surcharge for tires, since the landfills charge a fee. If he comes across items in good condition, Keesecker will try to donate them to charity and get a receipt that he can give back to the customer. If it's something that can be recycled, he'll try to do that, too. "Donating and recycling and giving to the needy—that's where I'm headed." About seventy percent of the junk can be recycled, he says. As an example, his eco-friendly beast recently hauled away 1,700 pounds of junk for recycling—that otherwise would have gone to the landfill.
So far, Keesecker is one man with a truck, working full-time in the wonderful, wide world of junk. He's still working as a Radiology Technologist in Leesburg, as well, but only part-time, so he can devote most of his energy to the business. He has been approached about franchising his truck, but for now he's content to have one Monster, and a few helpers.
Keesecker is available Monday through Saturday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays by appointment. He'll also handle your e-waste. For more information, call (540) 550-JUNK (5865) or easily find them on Facebook at The Junk Monster or at TheJunkMonster.com
- By Teresa Brumback appearing in Around The Panhandle