BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s a business model that’s part American Pickers, part Hoarders. Miller Gunn is building an empire, and one day, he hopes to be king.
“A lot of people don’t even know this service exists,” Gunn said.
It’s not easy building an empire, especially when your building blocks are trash... literally.
“It’s not the sexiest industry. It’s not something people grow up saying, ‘Hey, I want to be a junk man,’” he said.
Call him a modern day Fred G. Sandford. Gunn quit his sales job and bought a truck, then started picking up junk.
“Essentially, they just point out anything they want gone, and we take it for them,” Gunn said.
It’s what he does with the stuff afterwards that sets his Junk King franchise apart.
“We make a commitment to keep as much as possible out of the landfill, whether it’s recycling it, donating it, re-purposing it,” said Gunn.
He’s building quite a collection.
“Furniture, appliances, you name it. We’re going to do our best to keep it out of the landfill and get it to somebody who needs it,” he said.
Gunn’s gang takes anything that might be reused to a small warehouse for sorting.
Whether it’s a old answering machine, a grill, or luggage, Junk King donates it to places like the Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, or Goodwill.
Most of what doesn’t make the cut ends up at a scrap yard, where it’s recycled. In all, Gunn’s gang keeps 60% of your junk out of the landfill.
"That’s what I like. I like to see what we’re going to find, and what we’re about to run into,” said John Dzindzielewski with Junk King.
What started out as one truck in New Orleans has grown to four, and now, a new office in Baton Rouge.
“All our office furniture came off of jobs,” Gunn said. “I’ll never buy furniture again.”
He’s building his kingdom on a pile of rubbish.
“I am the junk king!” Gunn said.