From the January 2002 issue of Startups

There are some things even garbage collectors won't touch, but it's a dirty job, and someone's got to do it. That someone happens to be Brian Scudamore, founder of the Vancouver, British Columbia-based junk removal company 1-800-Got-Junk?

Inspiration struck Scudamore at a McDonald's drive-thru in 1989 when he glanced at a dirty hauling truck in front of him. "I was looking for something fun to do and to make money for college," says Scudamore. "I said, 'Cool, I can do that!' " Scudamore bought a used pick-up truck for $700 and started hauling. Soon, his business expanded, and, in 1998, it became a franchise under the new moniker 1-800-Got-Junk?

With 31 franchised locations, the company has hauled more than 30,000 truckloads of ceramic Buddhas, escargot shells and plenty of other odds and ends to dumps or recycling depots. Until the company reaches its goal of 75 franchisees in 118 territories in North America by 2003, Scudamore is reluctant to assert its position as an industry bigwig: "Once we've hit our goal, we can say, 'Hey, we've done it.' "