In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the environmental movement began in earnest. With this movement recycling programs and companies began to develop in communities throughout the United States. In 1972 the City of Cape Girardeau, Southeast Missouri State University, and VIP Industries began a recycling program in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Since that date VIP has been involved in recycling and supplying the secondary market with fibers. In 1998 VIP expanded into security shredding. In the fall of 1999 VIP Security Shredding was formed as a division of VIP Industries, working under VIP Vocational Services d/b/a Heartland Industries.
The first customers were from Cape Girardeau. It soon became apparent, however, that the service area needed to expand throughout the region. In 2001 an aggressive marketing approach was put into place to service a five-state region: Missouri, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, Northeast Arkansas, and Western Tennessee. The marketing approach was successful and the customer list continues to grow.
We have been involved in the recycling business for the past 30 years, collecting, sorting, and recycling paper. Paper sorting is done by individuals with developmental disabilities who work at VIP Industries, an AbilityOne employer. This work force is highly conscientious toward the work they perform in preparing the paper for shredding. Once the paper is sorted into the proper grade, it is then shredded and baled. The fibers are recycled and sold on the secondary paper market.