BEDFORD RELOCATING LUMBER UNIT

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Needing space for more equipment, Bedford Industries Inc. is moving its plastic lumber operations from Worthington, Minn., to its Sioux Falls plant this month.

The 80,000-square-foot Sioux Falls plant will house two extrusion lines, one of which is new, as well as warehouse space. The company is investing roughly $100,000 in the move and a new extrusion line.

In Sioux Falls, Bedford already extrudes plastic lumber and twist-ties that are used to close bread wrappers. The 90,000-square foot building in Worthington continues to house Bedford's corporate offices and twist-tie extrusion. The lumber is used in benches, decks, landscaping and industrial products. Bedford helps design frames and structures for its customers.

``We stay away from finished products,'' said product manager Bob Hill.

The 30-year-old firm only recently started making plastic lumber. It makes the high density polyethylene twist-ties through a proprietary laminated extrusion process.

However, the residue from the twist-ties was causing Bedford some problems.

``In 1989, it was costing us $50,000 to landfill'' the residue, Hill said in a recent telephone interview.

Bedford first researched the industry and began producing 50 percent post-consumer and 50 percent post-industrial lumber, combining the twist-tie residue with reground milk jugs. For the first year, it gave away the lumber and asked for feedback. Since 1990, Bedford has been selling the product.

The company employs about 180. With the plastic lumber and packaging combined, it has annual sales of around $20 million.

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