GODFREY, IL – Sparks Junk Removal and Hauling, as it marks its 30th year in business, has been named the recipient of the RiverBend Growth Association’s February 2023 Small Business of the Month award.

Owned by Denise Sparks, the company that got its start in 1993 as a ChemDry franchise carpet cleaning business has continued to evolve and grow over its years of operation to where it is today as a successful entrepreneurial venture with four employees and headquartered at 1816 Myrtle Street in Alton.

The company recently moved into a 3,000-square-foot shop at 2201 East Broadway, Alton, where it also provides a drop-off service for couches, mattresses, recliners, etc. There is a charge for this service, and drop-offs must be scheduled in advance.

“I began my journey as an entrepreneur in 1993 with ChemDry, and by 1999, I had emerged into smoke/fire and water damage, along with mold remediation,” noted Owner Denise Sparks. “By 2000, I had 35 employees. I tend to flow where the market goes, and by 2008 when the foreclosure boom happened, I ventured into property preservation.”

In 2019, the company was rebranded and Sparks Junk Removal and Hauling was born, complete with a new logo and website.

Sparks Junk Removal and Hauling offers an all-inclusive junk removal service, including the labor to load up the debris, haul it away, and any disposal fees. The company strives for eco-friendliness, with recycling at the top of the company’s mission. Donating and repurposing as much as possible, Sparks takes only true trash to the landfill.

“If you have a home you are buying or selling and need to declutter, have an estate or storage unit that needs cleaned out, we can take care of that,” said Sparks. “When we have larger junk removal cleanout jobs, we use a local labor staffing agency out of Glen Carbon to meet our increased labor needs.”

Sparks Junk Removal and Hauling has also recently added bulk curbside pick-up to its services, as well as rubber tire dumpster trailer rentals and on-site self-serve dumpster drop-off and pick-up. Customers can have a dumpster or trailer (depending on capacity needs and availability) brought to their site. Customers can then fill it themselves, then contact Sparks to come back, pick it up, and haul it away.

The company provides services throughout the Alton, Ill. area as well as in Collinsville, East Alton, Edwardsville, Fairview Heights, Glen Carbon, Godfrey, Grafton, Granite City, Jerseyville, Madison, Maryville, Troy, and other nearby surrounding communities. They further service the St. Charles and Florissant, Mo. areas.

At the start of 2023, Sparks kicked off its first annual free Christmas tree pick-up as well, for Alton and Godfrey area residents. “This is my way of giving back to the local community for their loyalty and business,” Sparks said.

“My greatest gifts of being a business owner all these years are the wonderful customers I have met, and some of those have become friends,” she added.

Sparks noted that her biggest challenge right now is one shared with most business owners. “It is so challenging trying to find good laborers. Our world today is so different than how I was raised. If I wanted something, I had to work for it. I had to show up for my job, and I was taught to respect my boss.”

“Now, every day when I look in the mirror, I see my competition,” Sparks said, because of this strong work ethic rooted deep within her. “Each and every day, I strive to offer the best customer service, have the most respectful crew members, and every day I still learn something new, even after all these years.”

All of the training for the company’s employees is done in-house, Sparks further noted, and is a very “hands-on opportunity.”

As for her company’s membership in the RiverBend Growth Association, Sparks said, “The RBGA is a wonderful organization for our community: By promoting not only a new business, but all businesses locally, and by bringing us all together in the monthly mingles.”

“To receive this award after so many years is truly humbling, and a complete surprise,” Sparks noted in a social media post. “First, I want to thank the hard-working crew at Sparks Junk Removal and Hauling who put up with me every day. They always work right alongside me and, as a team, we get the jobs done. Secondly, (to) our fabulous customers, without you there would not be a Sparks Junk Removal and Hauling. We appreciate your trust in us and appreciate your referrals.”

To learn more about Sparks Junk Removal and Hauling and all that the company has to offer, visit online at https://sparksjunkremoval.net/ or call (618) 781-1407.

The RiverBend Growth Association is the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization for the 11 communities known as the Riverbend. For more information about the Growth Association, visit www.growthassociation.com or call (618) 467-2280.

RBGA’s Small Business of the Month Committee recognizes a different member business each month for its outstanding efforts and leadership in the community. Committee members include Brenda Eardley, Adrianna Lock, Sam Quigley, Amy Roady, Kristen Ryrie, Martha Schultz, and Amy Smith.

To learn more about membership in the RiverBend Growth Association and the Small Business of the Month recognition, visit the RBGA website or call their Godfrey office.