ARG has grown from 5 dumpsters to building recycling and transfer facility
Albion business now has 200 dumpsters available for customers
ALBION – Five years ago Anthony Gramuglia started a side business, renting dumpsters and offering to take trash, construction materials and unwanted household items to a landfill.
Gramuglia began ARG Disposal with five dumpsters. The business quickly grew, so fast that Gramuglia last year opened his own disposal and transfer facility on Washington Street in Albion. He bought the former NYSEG building, put in a scale house and 80-by-100-foot building.
The new building allows ARG to sort metals and other recyclables so the entire dumpster isn’t taken to a landfill. The trash is moved to a 30-ton trailer, which ARG typically takes to a landfill two or three times a week.
Before the new facility opened last June 24, ARG was taking every dumpster to a landfill, either at Modern in Lewiston or the Monroe County landfill in Riga. That was often two or three trips a day to a landfill.
It was wear and tear on the trucks. And Gramuglia said a lot of the materials were recyclable, but weren’t being saved.
“All of this stuff before was just going to a landfill,” Gramuglia said last week, watching his employees sort a pile from a house that was damaged in a fire.
His employees sorted wood, paper and cardboard, and metal. The rest was put in the big 30-ton transfer trailer.
Gramuglia, 31, runs the business with his fiancé, Heather Skrip. ARG has grown to a dozen employees – and about 200 dumpsters, which are all painted red. Gramuglia has built some of the dumpsters himself, and refurbished others that he bought used. He credits his father for teaching him to weld and to problem-solve.
The roll-off dumpsters range in size from 10 yard to 40 yard. The biggest one is 22 feet long, 8 feet wide and 6 feet tall. The small ones are often used to clear out a room, or for small construction projects. ARG gets about two of the bigger dumpsters a week from the old Holley High School, where contractors are tearing out walls and creating apartments and offices in the former school.
“This is the future,” Gramuglia said about the recycling operation.
He expects there will be a bigger push “to recover as much as possible” in the future, especially as landfills fill up.
He wanted the recycling and transfer station so he didn’t have to drive about an hour each way to take every load to a landfill. Those landfills also tend to stop accepting loads around 3 p.m.
ARG works until 5:30 p.m. at its Albion site. That gives ARG more availability to bring in dumpsters and sort the material.
ARG also accepts loads from the community. Those can come in on a pickup truck, as long as the materials are covered (usually with a tarp). The local option for smaller loads should help prevent illegal dumping, because there is an option close by to bring construction debris and unwanted household items, Skrip said.
She was working at Chase Bank when she joined Gramuglia full-time in 2014 to help with the business. Skrip is the office manager who can also drive truck. She paints all the dumpsters red.
She keeps the ARG website up to date and the website has been a good resource in connecting with customers. She also said advertisements in the Orleans Hub and Lake Country Pennysaver helped get the word out about ARG.
The red dumpsters can seem ubiquitous in the community, and they all have the ARG phone number – (585) 205-1847 – painted prominently.
Gramuglia, Skrip and the ARG workers did some of the construction with the new building and scale house. ARG hired Art Hill Construction for the site work and LeFrois Builders put up the building.
The project needed to pass village and county approvals, as well as the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC visits four times a year for inspections.
“The county and village were all great to work with,” Skrip said. “I find it a shame more people aren’t coming to Orleans County.”
She said the local officials helped them secure needed permits, and found the project fit in well with the neighborhood. ARG is across the street from the Village of Albion Departmentof Public Works. The Albion Correctional Facility is down the street. The railroad runs next to the property, and the back side of Waters Autobody is on the other side of the railroad tracks from ARG.
The NYSEG building also was ideal for ARG. The building was set up as a truck terminal. There were two vacant lots next door for ARG to build the 8,000-square-foot recycling and transfer facility.
Gramuglia said he has no regrets in pushing forward with the new recycling and transfer facility, and expanding the inventory of dumpsters and the fleet of trucks. He said the business fills an important need in the community and also is good for the environment by reducing materials sent to landfills.
“Working as hard as I do I figured it was time to do something on my own,” he said about the business. “With this you have better control of your own destiny.”