GARBAGE COLLECTION TAKES ON NEW IMAGE
Trash Taxi stresses clean and dependable service trucks.
Troy -- When Curtis Agius starts talking trash, people don't cover their ears, they listen. That's because Agius, who jumped into the trash collection business just 24 months ago, says his business is booming -- he started with two trucks, and now numbers seven and eight, at $140,000 each, are on the way.
Agius says the brilliant decorating he does on each new vehicle is the key to his successful image. "I call my company Trash Taxi," he says, "because the trucks are yellow with chrome and checkers and have taxicab lights on top. It puts a prettier face on garbage. We've had an incredible response." Agius even paraded one of the Trash Taxi's eye-catching vehicles in the last Dream Cruise.
"We drive through subdivisions, kids just come out... to look at them," he says. "Most people say they are too pretty to use for garbage." Trash Taxi operates within 50 miles of it's Troy base; 60 percents of its business is "roll-offs" - parking and then picking up dumpsters; 30 percent is "front loads" that go right into the truck. The company is expanding into recycling and hopes to start residential pick-up in January. Agius said his secret weapon is clean, dependable service. His drivers are former firefighters.
How you treat people and equipment are very importance," he says. "I see big-shoe garbage companies with trillions of dollars of equipment, but they just get beat. I've had to call other companies to clean up around where my Dumpsters are because it makes me look bad. Our trucks are clean, our drivers are clean, their clothes are clean. I want to be the cleanest garbage man there was.
Agius, self-employed since age 19, says he's not interested in empires. When you get huge you lose contact with the customer; that is how the big boys fall," he says. "I would like to be a ma and pa shop with a hundred trucks. The big guys have thousands."