DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The Farm Progress Show may be over, but the clean-up continues.
It takes a lot of work to make sure they leave no trace. Some of that work is done by a committed group of individuals who handle all the trash and recycling for the show.
Macon Resources leads the charge to keep the show clean. They’re a work group out of Decatur that serves a variety of different people in Macon County that have both physical and developmental challenges.
“We make sure that the containers are not full and we recycle, we pick up all the recycling,” said Elizabeth Dandridge, an employee at Macon Resources who has worked with the group for 40 years.
“Every year they have this, I’d be here having fun doing it,” said Thaddeus Bond, another employee at Macon Resources. “And you get to see a lot of people smiling, living and having fun.”
While they do enjoy the work, they have a big job to tackle. Each year, the Farm Progress Show produces around 110 tons of garbage. That’s 220,000 pounds, requiring around-the-clock work.
Macon Resources has teams of employees that work for them, and they patrol the grounds during the show. They pick up any loose litter, help sort bottles, cans and other recyclables from trash cans and take cardboard boxes from vendors to a recycling dumpster. That hard work helps redirect what could be waste towards recycling.
Macon Resources doesn’t only handle the Farm Progress Show. They also contract with four rest stops to keep things clean in Central Illinois. In addition, they also handle making all of the license plates for the State of Illinois. Last year, they made 2.5 million plates for the state.
“If you ask any of the people that we serve, they’ll say ‘My disability does not define who I am,'” said Amy Bliefnick, President and CEO of Macon Resources. “They believe so much in themselves, and so do we.”
Being a part of the Farm Progress Show is important for Macon Resources. It’s a partnership that has flourished over the years. They know the importance of recycling and helping to keep as much waste out of landfills, something important for the area and for the agriculture community.
“When you start looking at how important it is to keep things pure and recycle to our farming friends, it’s even more important that it’s taken care of right here at the Farm Progress Show,” said Brad Auten, Director of Production at Macon Resources.