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Workshop Efforts Show Broad Impact of Recycling

Recycling at Lamar Enterprises is representaive of workshop programs that help steer materials from landfills, produce new products and provide employment.
Lamar Enterprises, Inc., in Lamar is a good example of the broad use of recycling programs by Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops.

Lamar Enterprises currently accepts cardboard, paper, newspaper, magazines, aluminum, tin, two types of plastics along with clothes, shoes and belts from their local Good Samaritan Shop.

Manager Judd Chesnut noted that recycling covers a broad field. Lots of materials must be sorted and then baled and stored until enough poundage is available to be shipped to the mill. Lamar has found that recycling takes a lot of space. When the price was down this winter Lamar in fact had three-fourths of the parking lot filled with bales of cardboard, plastic and tin.

Overall support has been dramatic, however. “We owe a lot to the community for their efforts to recycle,” Chesnut said. “It has been overwhelming at the businesses, individuals and schools that participate.”

Chesnut noted that advertising was the key in the beginning, although now the questions seem to be what do we recycle and how to prepare it for recycling.

In order to get a quality price for products, the operation must be very competent at sorting and baling correctly.

State grants helped purchase the equipment. Now, with an overwhelming need to expand, Lamar has been granted funds to build a large warehouse. Phase I, which consists of a concrete slab and dock, is complete. The total value of this project is estimated at $163,262.00.

Lamar’s employees with disabilities take pride in knowing what items they take and how to sort them for baling. “It’s a lot of hard work but very rewarding,” Chesnut reported. “The first five months of this year we have baled 201 ton of recyclable products. Of that amount 85 ton is cardboard alone.”

Along with recycling, Lamar also has a document shredding business. Individuals and businesses can bring materials to be shredded for a fee. Steady customers include local hospitals and banks.

From these materials, Lamar creates recyclable cardboard pallets from materials received in from local business and shred cardboard to sell as packing material to the public and businesses. All this takes place along with other contract jobs for packing, collating, weight counting, sorting and our own T-shirt transfer business and grounding wire harness business.

Lamar Enterprises currently use s two Down Stroke balers and one Horizontal Baler to bale all our recycling products plus three Dempster four-bin trailers, six 16 foot trailers and one flatbed trailer. They have a recycling “drop off” station at the workshop and a smaller one, one block off the town square. The community businesses are very willing to recycle. These trailers are placed at various businesses including Barton County Memorial Hospital for cardboard and other recyclables.

MASWM The Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers
If you have questions, please contact:
President Rob Libera – (636) 227-5666 or
or Legislative Chair Kit Brewer – (314) 647-3300 or