Enjoying A Cup Of Joe While Talking Me Some Trash
On Saturday December 7, 2019 I had 45 minutes to kill before a doctor’s appointment, so I decided to treat myself to breakfast at Uptown Restaurant, 521 Tecumseh Road East in Windsor. They are a two-time Biz X Award winner (2017 “Tip Top Server” and 2005 “Soup & Sandwich Shangri-la”) and I try to patronize our award winners and nominees, whenever possible.
It was 9:30 a.m. and the place was packed. In fact, I was lucky to score the last available table, a large table to the right of the front door.
A few minutes after I had been seated, a young man — who looked to be in his early to mid-20s — appeared by himself at the entrance and was told by a server it might be up to a 15 minute wait for a table.
I called the server over and indicated that if the young man wanted to share my table, he was welcome to. The young man broke into a big smile and readily accepted my invitation.
No sooner had this stranger sat down, the two of us were engaged in some pretty serious “trash talk”. Keep on reading and you’ll see what I mean.
Eric Morin, entrepreneurial owner of JunkGone Services, began his business in November 2019. Originally from Belle River, he spent much of his young life on his grandparents’ farm in Essex, which his mother eventually took over when he was 14 years old.
After graduating from St. Anne’s High School in Tecumseh, Morin successfully completed a welding course at St. Clair College. For a while he worked for local temp agencies and plied his trade at area welding shops. It wasn’t long before this farm boy realized that welding was paying the bills, but he wanted to accomplish much more in life than that.
A few summers ago, his mother travelled east to New Brunswick on vacation and left Morin her truck to use. In her absence he went online and advertised, “Man with truck and trailer available to do any side jobs”.
One of his first job offers came from the old Bank Night Club at Ouellette and University, downtown Windsor. It was being gutted and he agreed to do the work and told the owner to “pay him whatever they thought was reasonable”.
They ended up paying Morin $300 and his eyes widened in amazement. He’d found his new calling!“I had no idea there was that kind of money in junk removal,” he expresses.
Most of his work to date has been within the Windsor city limits. He explains, “In the county, the various lower tier municipalities will pick up trash like mattresses at curbside for free, whereas in Windsor, that doesn’t happen.”
Residential services make up the majority of his jobs, although he gets the occasional commercial request. Many times, owners of rental units will discover that their last tenants left behind quite a mess to deal with. Morin shows up on the scene and does the heavy lifting of the trash to his trailer and then transports it to the Windsor Disposal Services Ltd. landfill.
He operates with one other employee, but has several others available at short notice for larger jobs and he is fully WSIB insured.
I asked him if some of the items being trashed are salvageable. He indicated that he’s retrieved an X Box One — brand new. It was part of what someone left behind in an apartment after they were evicted. He has a tote box at home with close to a thousand dollars worth of LEGO.
Morin reveals some of the places he’s hired to dismantle — and then transfer the trash to the landfill — are disgusting. He recalls one residence littered with deceased cat corpses and well used cat litter in all the closets.
I asked him what the strangest thing he’s been asked to remove, and he quickly offers, “a doctor’s brief case filled with some of the weirdest ‘adult toys’ I have ever seen.” (I resisted the temptation of asking the client’s name, and I’m sure professional ethics would have prevented him from disclosing the identity).
According to Morin, business has been extremely good and he is now expanding his services to include the Chatham Kent area. He also hopes to branch out further into Sarnia and London. Eventually, he’d like to be able to franchise his business in southwestern Ontario and possibly start up a demolition business.
With spring cleaning just around the corner, visit his website for information on rates, to see a list of items on what they can haul away and to book his services online.