Nathan Farmer, left, and Brian Battaglia are owners of A1 Services ABQ Junk Removal and Hauling. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/ Journal)
Nathan Farmer never thought he would be spending his time hauling away people’s junk and discarded items.
As a child, farmer said his parents stressed the importance of education saying that it was a gateway to avoid manual jobs, and for much of his life, he heeded that advice.
Until last year.
Farmer said that last year his interest in a new career was piqued after his childhood best friend, Brian Battaglia, casually mentioned how well his weekend gig of hauling away people’s old items was going.
The two quickly partnered up and started spending their lunch hours and evenings hauling away old mattresses, piles of concrete and large appliances.
On April 15, the duo are launching their company, A1 Services, as a full-time operation.
The move to becoming full-time junk haulers is a far cry from both Farmer’s and Battaglia’s former professions.
Farmer works as a full-time professor at Central New Mexico Community College while Battaglia works as a petroleum engineer for New Mexico Gas Co.
Though Farmer and Battaglia are leaving their former professions behind, Farmer said the decision made sense since both he and Battaglia had always prioritized flexibility and the need to not work desk jobs.
“The most important thing for me in my life was always flexibility, never having a desk job … And that’s why I went into teaching because you don’t have a desk job,” Farmer said.
He also said it allowed both of them to be their own bosses.
The business started on a whim when Battaglia casually posted an advertisement for junk hauling services on Craigslist.
Soon, Battaglia’s phone was blowing up with requests from people needing the services, Farmer said.
The volume of business eventually allowed Battaglia and Farmer to purchase a trailer and a box truck.
There are hopes to continue growing.
Farmer said that he and Battaglia would like to continue scaling the business since there is an obvious need for the services.
He said many of their clients include elderly people who are unable to move heavy items on their own, or family members needing to clean out houses after a death.
“I never thought in my life that I would be doing this as my job, and so I think it kind of opened my eyes to like this whole different type of living,” he said.
Farmer said he realized that his new career isn’t just about removing junk, but about providing a service to those in need.
“We’re actually doing a service that helps people,” he said. “I didn’t realize that’s what it would be like.”
While Farmer uses the term “junk removal,” items that still have use are often donated to thrift stores like Family Thrift Center.
A1 Services currently serves Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, though the company may begin weekly operations in Santa Fe, according to Farmer.
Customers are charged based on the size of the load and how much space it takes up on the trailer and box truck.
For more information, visit A1abq.com