My town has what we call a "big trash pickup" twice a year. They used to allow a lot more to be put on the curb than they do now. Consequently, many things are not easy to eliminate, and more businesses are coming up to take them away.

One such place I used was "College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving." After hearing Bill Spadea's commercial on New Jersey 101.5, I decided to give them a shot at removing a hot tub that had been in my backyard for over 30 years. They did it quickly and efficiently and even removed an old portable basketball rim and backboard setup that had been at the end of my driveway that the kids had outgrown.

They did such a great job that I wanted to know more about them, so I spoke with "Tall Paul" Meyler to get his story.

Steve Trevelise/Townsquare Media
Steve Trevelise/Townsquare Media

How did you get involved with "College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving?"

After college, I worked as an engineer. I then worked in NYC in Finance at JP Morgan for several years. I decided I no longer wanted to commute into the city, and I wanted to do something different. Additionally, my father and I renovated and rented homes and built pools. It was a combination of engineering and hard work. This is where my true passion was. When I stumbled across college hunks this was a perfect match. It checked all of my boxes. So I moved forward and never looked back.

I was searching for a business to buy and I saw an ad online: Fund a startup with your 401k. So I clicked on it. I said to myself this is never going to work out. But I filled it because I was curious. Then this guy Karl Morningstar from The You Network called me. He said I interview you to match you up with a business that fits your personality. He came up with a list of 10 options. I immediately went right to College Hunks. I said to Karl, I want that one but that name is really wild, does it work? Carl gave me great advice. I then went to Tampa to meet with Nick and Omar. I liked what I saw. The operation was very robust. I moved forward and again I never looked back.

I grew up in Edison NJ. I went to JP Stevens High School. I then went to Rutgers College of Engineering and I studied Electrical and Computer Engineering. I worked as an engineer designing and building pharmaceutical product lines. I was laid off in the '08-09 economy bust and found a job in finance due to my mathematical and programming skills.

I worked for a few different companies, a hedge fund and JP Morgan. Although I liked my work, I wanted to do something different. I did it and never looked back. I currently live in central Jersey with my fiance Donna.

Steve Trevelise/Townsquare Media
Steve Trevelise/Townsquare Media

Do all "hunks" have to go to college?

A lot of our hunks go to college but not all. H.U.N.K.S. stands for Honest Uniformed Nice Knowledgeable Service. So we are all Hunks. We all joke around that the guys who work for the company are the hunks and I am the chunk."

Do you find women walking by, checking you guys out when they see the truck?

Yes. They are curious. I mean do you want a sweaty junk hauler of a college hunk in a nice uniform hauling your junk?

Will there be a calendar?

As of right now there is no calendar but I can talk to Nick and Omar at corporate about it.

What's the toughest job you ever tackled?

After COVID, we cleared out an insurance company's office in Cranbury, NJ. All of their employees are now working from home. They cut off the office to save on rent. 40,000 square feet of cubicles, desks, fake plants, chairs, I mean everything. We booked it for 5 days and did it in 4. So they even had us take their toilet paper away from their stockroom. We are still using that supply of toilet paper in our warehouse today 3 years later we dont let anything go to waste."

Do people ever get emotional when they part with their stuff?

Yes, people can get very very emotional with their stuff, especially after a death in the family. So at College Hunks we do things a little differently. We separate donatable items. We take them to Habitat for Humanity Restore in Manville. We work very closely with Scott over there. Scott is a great guy I call him up and say get the boys ready I got trucks coming. In fact I brought him three trucks of basically brand new stuff just last week. Their staff helps me out when I come in. If I can't donate it I recycle it and if it didn't make those two cuts I have to dispose of it. Letting the customer know that we are going to give their items a new life goes a long way and helps them through the emotional process and also helps a person in need.


Are you hearing from college hunks who want to haul junk?

Yes, I do hear from actual college hunks. I have had a bunch from Middlesex County College and a bunch from Rutgers. I sometimes can't sleep on a Friday night wondering if the boys are still over on Easton Ave. at Old Queens Tavern when we have a 7 a.m. start time on a Saturday morning. Just joking!

What we do is pair an older hunk with a still-in-college hunk. We call the older hunk the captain and joke around saying he's the professor showing all the young hunks the way. We like to call this building leaders. This job really prepares these good strong young men for life. They learn profit and loss statements and they learn business.

This is one of my favorite aspects of this business. I have hunks from seven years ago who still keep in contact with me. One guy who graduated college has a day job and called me up and said I need a down payment on a house. Can I work Saturdays, I said of course.

How do your parents feel that their college boy is now a junk hauling junk?

Donna and I stopped over at my parents' house one day about seven years back and sat them down to tell them that I am going to quit my job at JP Morgan and start a garbage company. My father had a blank look on his face, stunned. I thought he was going to faint. My mother said I didn't send him to Rutgers to do this. They were blown away. They said I was crazy! Donna said to my parents I would be crazy not to do it.

Now fast forward seven years later and we have multiple trucks running routes. Since then they have seen the magic. My father passed away this past December. I wish he could have seen this article but this will make my mother sooo happy and proud!

Steve Trevelise/Townsquare Media
Steve Trevelise/Townsquare Media

What do you do with the stuff that you haul?

Everyone always asks if we sell it. The answer is no we do not. That is a very time-consuming process. What we do is donate first, recycle second, and trash last.

Sometimes I hold onto things for the kids in the neighborhood. There is a park in South River a quarter mile from our warehouse and a bunch of kids play there. We had a bunch of Nerf footballs, so I gave them to the kids.

We had a beautiful small pink bike with the tassels on it. I said to one of our guys, Carlos, who lives in town, are there any young kids who need a bike? He said yes so we sent the bike home with him.

Our handyman Keith at our warehouse is a retired cop and has close ties with the community. We give him and his wife all of the dog stuff and they take it to the dog shelters. It's like being Robin Hood but we're not stealing it.

Steve Trevelise/Townsquare Media
Steve Trevelise/Townsquare Media

What sets you apart from the other haulers?

Our culture, our process, our high level of service. This combination allows us to lead the pack. Our employees love working here. Our customers love us. I make sure the guys have what they need to get the job done right. Our Junk trucks are bigger than our competitors, which is a better value for the customer we haul more per load and our moving estimates are simple with no hidden fees everything is explained upfront. We don't play any games we get down to work. I believe because of all of this is why we have a 5.0 on Google reviews.

I love what I do! We make people happy. I am no longer stuck on a train on the NorthEast Corridor stopped on the tracks between Newark and Secaucus, hearing the conductor say we are experiencing signal problems for 55 minutes, and as I sit there, I feel like you're living the movie planes, I trains, and automobiles. If you're from Jersey you know what I mean. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It was a rough ride at first but I am glad I took the plunge.

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