Christie Lane Industries (A.K.A. CLI) is a non-profit business whose mission is to increase the earnings of workers with developmental disabilities. CLI is most known for the JIT (Just in Time) light assembly services that it provides to area businesses. Because it has become so hard to find enough assembly contracts to employ its 120-plus workers, CLI is actively pursuing new market niches. Many of the best new opportunities are green.
In spring 2003, CLI launched CLI Document Destruction, offering certified secure document destruction to area businesses. CLI Document Destruction currently has more than 200 steady customers, including banks, hospitals and other professional offices. CLI Document Destruction securely shreds records, compresses the shredded paper into 1,000 pound bales, then trucks them to paper mills where they are pulped to become new paper. One hundred percent of all paper and cardboard collected by CLI Document Destruction is recycled. Last year, CLI recycled more than 184 tons of shredded paper.
CLI's Small Business Recycling Program is a spin-off of the document destruction program. As CLI began processing and recycling cardboard, area businesses that generate a large amount of waste cardboard began bringing that cardboard to CLI. Since 2006, CLI offers single-stream, pick-up recycling services to area businesses and schools. CLI's recycling pick-up vehicle is an old GMC box truck that CLI brings inside Sandusky Mall as part of an Earth Day event, where kids lay on a fresh coat of reclaimed house paint every year. Last year, the CLI Small Business Recycling Program recycled more than 100 tons of plastic, 300 tons of cardboard and non-confidential paper and more than 20 tons of metal.
In 2007, CLI began to market CLI Tile, which included a ceramic wall tile that was 20 percent recycled bottle glass. This summer, CLI Tile will begin marketing a floor and wall tile that is 100 percent recycled post-consumer bottle glass. Up until this point, glass has been the only material that CLI hasn't been able to recycle in its recycling program. As glass tile sales increase, CLI can begin to collect bottles from area bars and restaurants to use as its raw material.
CLI's newest venture, launched in the fall 2008, is a secure document imaging service that will take customer's old paper records and transform them into scanned images that will be part of an indexed, searchable database. Customers would then have the option to shred and recycle their old paper records.
Christie Lane Industries is on the Norwalk Tour of Businesses from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday. For more information about Christie Lane Industries, contact John Schwartz at (419) 668-8840, ext. 115.
This article was reprinted with permission of The Norwalk Reflector