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Want to start an eco-business? - ANYJUNK's boss gives us his tips

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AnyJunk’s boss, Jason Mohr, tells Hippyshopper why he binned a high-earning career in corporate finance and recycled himself to start an eco waste collection company. The qualified solicitor, who has an MBA, set up ANY JUNK?, which diverts more than 40 per cent of the junk it collects from landfill, winning a number of green awards for its recycling efforts. The company is famed for composting Skoda’s giant cake used on their recent Fabia advert.

1) What spurred your ethical quest? Did you ever see yourself doing anything like this growing up?

“I started the business to have fun, to prove I could do it, and to create something that I would be proud of. I didn’t set it up to save the world...

Related stories: AnyJunk? remove Skoda giant cake | Eco-pod brings recycling to your kitchen

"As a kid I always thought money was what success was all about, but unless you’re completely broke, it just isn’t. That’s not to say I don’t want to make money with ANY JUNK?, it’s just that (despite what you see on The Apprentice!) there is definitely room in business for values beyond being ruthless and maximising short term profit.”

2) What was the greatest hurdle to starting an ethical business?

“Getting people to pay a bit extra to cover our costs of disposing of junk in the most environmentally sound way possible.”

3) What has been your highest and your lowest point so far with ANY Junk?

“High – Winning the UPS Award for London ’s Best Local Business and being given a four-week radio campaign on Capital FM as our prize.

Low – closing the office doors on Christmas Eve in our first years’ trading and having not one booking in our diary for the following year.”

4) How important is it to have a clear set of ethical rules for your company?

“We don’t have a set of ethical rules, we just try our best to do things in a way that we’d like them done to us. My goal is to build a business that everyone who comes into contact with has only positive things to say.”

5) What would be your most important piece of advice give to anyone ethical entrepreneur starting up?

“Make sure your business model stacks up financially and not just ethically. “

6) What's been your greatest regret?

“That I waited so long to do this”

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