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Michigan Pallet Recycler Off to Fresh Start Following Fire;
Smart Products Helps Burton Pallet Recyclers Get Up, Running Again
By Peter Hildebrandt
Date Posted: 4/1/2005
After some research, Lemuel focused on someone with equipment, old trucks and trailers and customer contacts in the pallet industry. He bought the equipment in 1998, went to work and soon incorporated his business. He launched Burton Pallet Recyclers Inc. with $6,000 from his personal savings.
One of his first customers was Plastics Research, now known as U.S. Fence. He bought lumber from the company and built pallets for it, too. “We did this for six or eight months,” said Lemuel. “This work got us on our feet and enabled us to start pallet recycling.”
“I started by charging a small fee for pallet removal and built up a customer base of those customers that would also buy pallets,” he said. The company began retrieving surplus pallets up to about 45 miles away and repairing them.
When he started the company, Lemuel rented a couple of buildings on four acres, but the buildings had only 9,000 square feet combined. Even with only a handful of employees, however, the space was cramped.