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The Conference Room

Great Northern Lumber Co. on Turning Dust into Dollars

By Gabrielle Karol The Conference Room FOXBusiness

Turning sawdust into dollars

A look at Great Northern Lumber Company's make-it-work approach to business.

When new construction projects froze up due to winter weather, demand for lumber fell. But Great Northern Lumber Co. says it’s getting along just fine, thanks to its make-it-work approach.

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The company, located outside of Chicago, Illinois, used to burn excess lumber to create electricity. But in a Conference Room interview with FBN’s Jeff Flock, Great Northern Lumber Co. President Jeff Currier says he’s now turning extra wood into sawdust, which he can sell for a variety of purposes.

“It goes to the pellet industry, as well as to horse bedding and other different animal bedding products around Chicago,” says Currier.

Currier says his team is also finding success in resizing lumber to suit different needs.

“We take wider lumber, the by-product of sawmills. We’re solving their problem and we’re turning their doo-doo into gold,” says Currier. His brother Mark, the COO of the company, says Great Northern Lumber is able to turn lumber into 99 different shapes.

Lastly, Great Northern Lumber is using its location in the greater Chicago area to access different markets in the U.S. and in nearby Canadian markets.

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“We have the ability to pull from these locations and also to sell to and distribute, because we are centrally located. That gives us a lot better advantage, I suppose, than our competitors,” says DeHart.

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