Todd Powell has always found the value in things meant for the scrap heap.
Got an old washing machine, baby swing, furniture, or even a furnace? He'll take it. Worn-out file cabinets jammed with office paper? He'll take that, too. Any yard waste, old lumber or firewood? Give him a call. He'll be there to haul it away for free.
Powell founded Scrap King
in late December after eight years of scavenging scrap metal, junk, and the assorted things people pitch and toss aside in modern life. He collects junk curbside, from people's homes and basements, and from an occasional dumpster. He picks up and hauls daily, making the rounds in Eaton, Ingham and Clinton counties, in search of aluminum, steel, copper and other items and materials he can exchange for cash at scrap yards, recyclers and second hand stores.
"The best thing is I'm on the road," says Powell. "It's a different situation every day—a different job, a different location. You meet a lot of different people. That's another nice thing about it."
Powell swapped a full-time job managing a Panera franchise for life as a scrapper. It was a leap of faith, he says, but it was more than a fair exchange, giving him the time and flexibility to spend with his wife, Kelly, and two baseball-playing kids.
The Charlotte-dad says he draws daily on his 25 years of experience in customer service-related businesses to bring a personal, professional tone to his new enterprise. For the naturally-friendly Powell, that comes easy, even on the most demanding days. And it's paid off, with referrals and word traveling fast among friends, neighbors and businesses looking to clean house.
Powell recently brought on two part-time staff to help with heavy lifting. His two sons sometimes ride along, providing a keen eye for the overlooked and unwanted.
"They think it's a treasure hunt," says Powell. "They absolutely love it."
Source: Todd Powell, Owner, Scrap King
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
Got a story idea for Innovation News? Email Ann Kammerer here.
Enjoy this story? Sign up
for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.