Garbage service does it all to haul for county residents

Seth Whitaker and his business have a goal – to bring affordable, practical and full-service refuse disposal service to those whose typical monthly routine includes dealings with garbage.

“Normally people (who live outside town limits) have to load their stuff in their trucks and a lot of people have to load it in their cars, which is a real nightmare,” Whitaker said. “Not everybody has a pickup truck. You have to cram it into cars and take it to your local dump station.”

Shenandoah Valley Disposal, Whitaker’s recently started business, which is not affiliated with the county, will haul away trash throughout Shenandoah County from places that are outside of town limits. Whitaker said his grandparents’ experiences with trash removal got him thinking about better options.

“We have a 70-acre family farm out in Mount Olive and nobody’s ever offered them trash service,” he said. “I saw my grandma and grandpa struggling with it and I said ‘something’s missing in this county.’ I thought ‘let’s get this up and running’ and elderly and various other people have been picking up on it- a lot of handicapped people out there could use the service too.”

For $30 to $45 a month, customers can have their refuse removed, even if they are not able to bring the trash to the front of their house.

“Customers will be paying every three months and that is just because we don’t want to have to change our trash routes so frequently,” Whitaker said. “Right now it’s a once a week weekly trash pickup. We don’t take hazardous waste or anything that requires a permit from the EPA to pick it up. We can pick up appliances (and) electronics. We’re going to have one big bulk pick up day a month for things like refrigerators, couches.”

Whitaker plans on handling the entire county by way of two pickup trucks equipped with trailers. He is working with customers primarily from Mount Jackson north to Maurertown but hopes to serve the entire county in the near future. With those vehicles, he will make runs to the landfill.

“I am charged by ton for the weight that I bring to the landfill,” he said. “If a customer loads me up with 2,000 pounds, I’m charged however much the amount may be. Basically my biggest expenses for the company are the landfill, my gas costs and my mechanic’s cost for the vehicles.”

Whitaker said that this venture is unlikely to be particularly lucrative but noted that if a gap is being filled for those who need a service, he’s happy to do it.

“One of the reasons that we almost didn’t get into this is because it’s just not a big money maker,” he said. “This was the hardest decision when starting this operation. I have a family of five kids – four girls and one boy and at a certain point you don’t look at the money makers, you look at something that works and something that’s needed and I’m hoping that I can take care of my family.”

Those interested can find Shenandoah Valley Disposal online at shenvalleydisposal.com. Whitaker can be reached by phone at 540-856-3337.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com.