D.C. area hauler collects awards with reliable work
by Meranda Watling
Kyle Clifford didn't set out to be a junk hauler, but he says hauling others' junk turned into the best job of his life. "It's not just the things that fascinate me, it's the people I meet that I find interesting," Clifford says. "It's the perfect job."
Reliable Hauling began in 2002, when Clifford purchased a truck and took out an ad offering to haul away junk. Today, Reliable offers a range of other services, including handyman work and painting. The company has received the Super Service Award every year since 2007.
The company has received not only awards, but positive customer testimonials as well.
Jan Gleiter of Chicago penned two glowing reviews for the company's work over the course of a year, which included cleaning out her late father's Falls Church, Va., home and later painting and preparing it for sale. "He hauled 8,000 pounds from the basement alone," Gleiter says. She and her sister also bonded with Clifford. "We ended up feeling more like Kyle was a friend, totally trustworthy and totally reliable," she says. "We felt like there was no problem he couldn't solve."
Relationships like that are the real treasures Clifford says he finds in his work. But he's also stumbled on myriad memorable objects, from newborn kittens to 12,000 pounds of newspaper to a World War II aviator's cap the owner believed was lost to history. Recently, Clifford acquired a still-operational pink refrigerator from the 1950s.
The fridge found a new home in a local art classroom, and the war relic was returned to the veteran for posterity. When something still has a useful life, Reliable donates it or offers it up for free online. But even the junk - dead appliances, busted furniture and accumulated debris - finds a resting place outside of landfills. "We're very big into reuse and recycle," Clifford says. Everything that can't be reused is taken to recycling or reclamation facilities where it's recycled or, where appropriate, used as fuel.