People don't give much thought to the trash they create. Whether cleaning out their garage, or taking out the trash at the end of the week, for most, garbage is just the stuff left out at the curb. Louis Mauriello, however, does some serious thinking about trash-and has for many years. And that's all to the benefit of his clients, most of whom know him so well, they easily recognize his red pick-up truck when he's driving around town.
People know Mauriello as one of guys from Champion Waste Removal (and its counterpart, Mauriello Disposal), a family business started back in 1912. "Grandpa used to deliver ice in the morning, coal in the afternoon, and pick up the garbage at night with a horse and carriage, and lanterns," says the co-owner, whose father runs Mauriello Disposal, while he and his brother run Champion Waste Removal. Clean-outs and light demolition work make up the bulk of their business, and, and for this company, no job is too big or too small. Mauriello notes, "I don't have a minimum charge."
This business owner is enthusiastic about his work, his customers, and his crew. Take the fact that most waste disposal companies rent a dumpster for a fee, give it to a client to fill, and then pick it up when its ready. Champion Waste Removal, however, does all the labor involved-the client is free to go about his business. "I go in, assess the scope of the job, estimate how much it's going to take to do it and what my fee is," says Mauriello, who goes out on every call and answers every phone call personally. "Then I'll put a package together, do the recycling-the whole nine yards."
Recently, the business owner helped a woman clean out her home in Cedar Grove-creating a mini-recycling program in her driveway. "I'm very big into recycling, not only because of the environment, but also because it saves my clients money," he suggests. "And we are super-efficient and very quick on-site."
There's a lot people don't know about trash, according to this businessman. For instance, many people aren't aware that if they're disposing of materials considered to be scrap metal-like refrigerators, washers and dryers, or microwaves-it's considered recyclable, which mean no dumping fee is associated with it. Mauriello helps separate out that scrap metal-and doesn't charge for it.
"I charge less [for the whole job] because I can take the scrap metal to a licensed scrap yard and dump it for free," he states. "I find that some of my competitors don't tell clients about that option, but I'd really rather educate people." After all, he notes, integrity is important in any business-but particularly in waste management.
In today's aging population, Mauriello sees many people moving out and downsizing their homes-and no one has time to do the clean-up work. "That's where we come in," he says. Realtors rely on his services when they list a home, and in turn, Champion Waste works with a network of people, from antique dealers (to help homeowners assess the value of their valuables) to landscapers. The company offers free estimates-and since Mauriello is literally the face of the business, he performs estimates personally. And that "personal touch" must be working for him. After all, he notes, "I still work with people who have been customers for ten to 15 years."
By Bettina H. Chavanne, photo by Dan Epstein
September 2007 Suburban Essex Magazine