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Celebrating 30 Years of Being Green



Midwest Fiber is excited to celebrate 30 years of providing exceptional recycling solutions to businesses and residential customers around the region. Over the years, we've developed valuable customer relationships by helping countless businesses from various industries reduce their waste expenses, increase efficiency, and generate additional income. Many of our customers have been our suppliers for multiple years. Things have certainly changed since our humble beginnings in 1990. Still, through it all, we have continued to operate with the original entrepreneur spirit and customer-first mentality brought by founder, Ron Shumaker. Throughout our years in business, we have experienced significant growth and expansion, and we are looking forward to an even brighter future. You can continue to count on Midwest Fiber to be your resource for cost-effective full-service recycling solutions.


Company Values

As one of the largest service providers of recycling services throughout the region, Midwest Fiber continues to provide the recycling industry with unique and cost-effective recycling solutions. The Shumaker family has always operated the business on honesty, transparency, and a sincere dedication to customer service, but what makes the difference is the quality of the employees. The principles that guided Ron when he formed the business 30 years ago continue to guide the company today. These inherent values include doing whatever it takes to meet customers' needs and exhausting all reasonable options, seeing the big picture when making decisions, and empowering employees to be part of the business decision-making process.


Midwest Fiber's leadership understands that our unique position of being a “pure-play recycler” and having no ownership in a landfill, makes us different than others. Our mission is to help divert recyclables from the landfill and become a revenue stream for your business. Our industry knowledge and experience and multiple processing facilities allow us to offer unparalleled service.


Investment with Impact

Midwest Fiber Recycling is a family-owned business specializing in the collection, processing, and marketing of recyclable commodities. Midwest Fiber traces its history back to 1990 when current owners Ron and Linda Shumaker responded to a "Local Business for Sale" newspaper advertisement. Little did they know they were investing in a company that would have such a widespread environmental, social, and community impact.

When the Shumaker family purchased Decatur Paper Recycle Company in Decatur, Illinois, in 1990, the business operated in only a small 5,000 square foot building. They employed three full-time employees and exclusively provided recycling services to businesses in Macon County. At that time, the company was recycling 600,000 pounds of material each month. In 1995, Decatur Paper Recycle Company moved its operation to a new 25,000 square foot building. This move consisted of not only investing in state-of-the-art equipment but also allowed for the processing of material to be done inside. This greatly improved the general appearance of the business. The extra processing capabilities and the additional space quickly prompted the expansion of recycling services to companies outside of Macon County.

In 2001, Decatur Paper Recycle Company purchased Weyerhaeuser Recycling in Normal, Illinois, and formed Midwest Fiber Recycling, the largest fiber recycling company in Central Illinois. In 2003, Confidential On-Site Paper (C.O.P.S.) began operations. This division specializes in a valuable and proven shredding method to securely dispose of your confidential corporate information, as well as employee and client information. Four years later, in 2005, the company opened a full-service collection and baling facility in Peoria, IL, to better serve clients in western Illinois.

In 2007, Decatur Paper Recycle Company officially changed its name to Midwest Fiber Recycling. In 2011, the Midwest Fiber grew exponentially with the construction of a new $8 million state-of-the-art single-stream Materials Recovery Facility at its Normal, Illinois location. The single-stream expansion enabled the company to increase participation and make recycling easier for its Central Illinois residents. Midwest Fiber also developed a community composting program in 2011 to help beautify the community and extend the life of landfills. While this service is no longer offered by Midwest Fiber the program is still operational and continues to offer Bloomington-Normal schools, restaurants, and local businesses the opportunity to compost food scraps rather than throwing them in the trash. In 2013, Midwest Fiber acquired Data Management Services in Terre Haute, IN, and later in 2017, Community Resource Inc. in Urbana, IL. The year of 2019 only brought more growth, as Midwest Fiber made a multi-million-dollar investment into sorting technology at the single-stream facility in Normal, IL to improve the quality of products and the sorting process. Also, in 2019, the Decatur location's multiple operations were consolidated into a single logistics site.


The Future of Recycling

Thirty years ago, Midwest Fiber operated within a 100-mile radius of our first location in Decatur, IL. Today, we buy and sell paper and plastic in over 20 different states. In addition to relying on those domestic outlets for paper and plastic, we regularly ship material all over the world. We have become one of the first steps in the supply chain for manufacturing, as recycling is vital in conserving natural resources and is more efficient than having to mine, harvest, or manufacture new raw materials.


At Midwest Fiber, we understand that recycling is constantly changing. Over time, we have adapted to the needs of our suppliers and the markets. We acknowledge that plastics manufacturing is a growing industry, one that is producing a large amount of plastic waste. We understand the need for plastic recycling and the importance of planning for the future. That's why we are continually investing our resources into helping find reuse markets for plastic materials. We have developed a network of businesses across the country that are looking for a large volume of recycled plastics to make into new products.



1990 - Purchased Decatur Recycle Paper Co.

1995 - Moved from original location to new location

2001 - Acquired Weyerhaeuser Recycling division in Normal, IL

2003 - Started Confidential On-Site Paper Shredding (COPS)

2005 - Opened facility in Peoria, IL

2011 - Constructed state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility in Normal, IL

2011 - Started first of its kind Food Waste Collection service

2013 - Acquired Data Management Services in Terre Haute, IN

2017 - Acquired Community Resource Inc. in Urbana, IL

2019 - Decatur location consolidated multiple operations into Hubbard Avenue logistics site


30 Years of Achievement

The growth of the company has been beyond what Ron and Linda Shumaker ever anticipated. Their sons, Mike and Todd Shumaker continue the legacy of the family business, with Mike serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Todd as the Director of New Business Development. At Midwest Fiber, we strive for recycling excellence. Our number one priority is to provide the highest caliber of customer service paired with second-to-none waste management assistance. Throughout our years of operation, we have accomplished many company goals. We've broken records in tonnage, baling, and shipping, as well as individual customer records, and we can't wait to reach new heights for our customers in the years to come. 

  • Ron Shumaker awarded Illinois Recycling Association Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Todd Shumaker & Marie Streenz elected to Executive Board of Illinois Recycling Association
  • Midwest Fiber received Illinois Recycling Association recycling public/private partnership
  • Midwest Fiber named Top 5 Supplier to Mississippi River Paper Co.
  • Obtained City of Decatur single-stream processing contract
  • Obtained Town of Normal processing agreement
  • Obtained City of Bloomington processing agreement
  • Awarded National Census Bureau recycling contract
  • Awarded Internal Revenue Service recycling agreement
  • Acquired management of City of Champaign multifamily recycling program

Every bit of recycling makes a difference. For example, one year of recycling on just one college campus, Stanford University, saved the equivalent of 33,913 trees and the need for 636 tons of iron ore, coal, and limestone.