Wall Street to Main Street: Resident oversees all things construction waste

Oct 14, 2022

Fifteen years ago, Dartmouth resident Arthur Moran was working in the fast paced, high-stakes world of finance at J.P. Morgan in New York City. 

These days, he’s helping to haul construction material and debris to transfer stations across Southeast Massachusetts — and loving every moment of it.

“Back in high school, I definitely would have thought 'there's no way I would do that, it’s not me,’” he said. “But it’s been good — I’m definitely learning a lot.”

Originally from upstate New York, Moran spent 15 years in risk management, ensuring financial institutions adhered to regulations in the aftermath of the 2007-’08 financial crisis.

While it was a field he enjoyed working in, Moran said he was craving a change of pace to something he could both oversee and do himself. 

“I want to make sure I understand everything [my employees] do day-to-day so I’m not asking them to do something I haven’t experienced,” he said.

And with a child on the way, he thought it was the perfect opportunity to return to the East Coast, finally moving to Dartmouth in December of last year.

“And it’s a lovely town here,” Moran said.

When looking for work, Moran was exploring the idea of owning his own established franchise.

Moran’s wife, who works as a physician's assistant, suggested doing some sort of business like a day spa with cryotherapy. While it would have been a popular business at the time, Moran said there was one major issue.

“I can’t do needles,” he said with a laugh.

Eventually, with the help of a consultant, he found a business that caught his attention: Redbox+ dumpsters, which are typically used by contractors during housework or to hold items for estate sales.

Moran said what appealed to him about this business was that it is the only waste hauling business that also provides porta potties, which he said appeals greatly to contractors who prefer their workers stay on the job site as much as possible.

He also liked how identifiable the bins are compared to others.

“They’re big and bright red — they’re hard to miss,” Moran said. 

After signing on to be a franchisee, Moran acquired two trucks and set up a base of operations, along with the staging area, in nearby Westport.

As the franchise owner, Moran does it all. 

He notes that he handles all the invoices, schedules when dumpsters go in and out, and keeps in constant contact with contractors. Moran even got a commercial drivers license to operate one of the trucks to haul the dumpster to and from sites whenever one of his primary drivers are out.

“I’m out there dropping off dumpsters, hooking up portable toilets,” he said. 

While it’s not something he tries to do often, Moran said driving the truck does give him some joy in fully visualizing what his work is.

“When you’re looking at spreadsheets of something that’s in the billions of dollars… sometimes it doesn’t feel real,” he said. “Meanwhile, I get in a truck with five tons in it — I go to the scale and see that.”

Massachusetts, Moran said, is an ideal market to expand his franchise to. 

He said with homes being older than other parts of the country (along with degradation due to coastal storms), there’s a higher likelihood of homeowners seeking to remodel things like roofs.

“And Dartmouth really falls into that territory,” Moran said. “We’ve done some good work here, I think.”

In other markets, such as out west, there's more new construction that doesn’t involve as much waste transfer.

Though Moran no longer works in finance, that background has served him well in this new industry — namely factoring in the most cost efficient ways to serve work sites, along with managing the other logistics of running a business.

“I wouldn’t call this a complete career change,” he said. “It’s still about mitigating risks as much as possible.”