Dan Cain, the owner of Clark County-based Junk Management, uses his expertise to turn one person’s trash into a treasure for others.
His business salvages junk from people’s property throughout Clark County and then repurposes it for other causes.
One example of that is Cain’s garden which features recycled materials. He recently grew tomatoes using plastic milk jugs and plastic wrap after he saw a video that utilized a similar method. The milk jug method bumped his graden production ahead a couple of weeks, Cain said.
“I was trying to be innovative and not have to spend more money,” Cain said.
Cain makes do with what he has as he experiments frequently with different gardening techniques. He utilizes the resources he gathers in different ways, which is a process Cain said has been rewarding.
“(I’m) able to say ‘alright, I put the work in and look, it actually worked,’” Cain said.
Aside from the dirt he utilized, Cain said the other materials for his garden didn’t cost him anything since he upcycled and repurposed materials. He created his garden beds from a shed he tore down, utilizing the wood from the structure for the boxes that contain the soil and plants.
Cain said almost anything from someone’s property can be repurposed. Wood from the back of one’s property can be upcycled into something else, or pallets can be crafted into good containers for plants if they feature all natural wood with no staining.
“You can upcycle almost anything, depending on the purpose, so that’s what we’re shooting for, just to keep our impact on the environment as small as possible,” Cain said.
Cain noted he utilized spice racks in his garden that were once used at Jake’s Crawfish in Portland as well as another shed he tore down in Battle Ground.
“We’re Junk Management, we’re not just junk removal. We’re changing junk removal as we know it,” Cain said. “We’re not just taking our truck and dumping it. We’re taking everything we possibly can and processing it. … If there’s stuff that’s valuable otherwise, rather than just using it in a garden, we try to get it a new home as well. We upcycle as much as we possibly can.”
Cain said his efforts are worth it in the end as he saves “thousands of pounds” of recycled materials each week that would have otherwise gone to landfills. He has two trailers he stores the materials in and is able to keep the capacity under control.
If Cain gets too much material at a jobsite, he takes it to local recycling centers.
Junk Management opened about a year ago and Cain has since gained a following through social media. His family is involved in the business, as they share his dream of recycling as much as possible.
Junk Management’s website can be found online at junkman