Sharing the fun (from left): Myles Cohen, President of Pratt Recycling; Executive Director of the Indiana Recycling Coaltion Carey Hamilton; Pratt COO David Dennis; and Paul England, GM of Pratt Recycling for the Midwest

Pratt officially opened two new recycling facilities this week, including a 110,000 sq. ft. plant in Gary, Indiana. The other is a 38,000 sq. ft. site in Wichita, Kansas. Both will support the company’s state-of-the-art paper mill in Valparaiso, In., which comes on-line this September.

Together, the two facilities, the company’s 16th and 17th recycling plants, will have the capacity to process more than 120,000 tons of recyclables annually, most of it recovered paper but also metal and plastics.

“The Midwest has long been a strong area for Pratt’s converting operations,” said Myles Cohen, President of Pratt Recycling. “Now, with the upcoming addition of our 4th, 100% recycled paper mill, adding recycling assets and infrastructure is the next logical expansion strategy for us.

“As an integrated paper and packaging company, the addition of recycling plants allows us to fully close the loop for our customers. Not only do we manufacture the paper required to make their packaging and then convert it into boxes and point of purchase displays, but now we can become their recycling provider as well.”

Myles said the company hoped to further expand the workforce at both centers within the next 12 months as volume increases. Currently there are 30 people employed at the two sites.

“These two facilities will enhance revenues for those businesses that want to recycle – and we should all care about that because anything that increases recycling rates is good for the community,” he said. “Not only does it reduce the amount of recyclables being sent to landfills which are increasingly expensive to operate, but it’s also good for the environment because every ton of paper we recycle is the equivalent of saving 17 trees.”

The Gary facility, which will process more than 70,000 tons of recyclables annually, is the company’s first in Indiana. Myles said Pratt chose the city because of its close proximity to both the mill and the greater Chicago area paper stream as well as its excellent access to transportation.

Among other equipment, Pratt has installed dual shredders at the plant to shred and recycle approximately 2000 tons a month of used books. The Wichita plant replaces an older facility which the company simply outgrew.

“We’ve had a corrugated box factory in Wichita for many years providing recycling services to our box customers as well as other commercial and industrial companies in the area, so just made perfect sense for us to do this,” said Myles. “This plant is more than triple the size of the old facility, giving us plenty of room to grow and ensure that Wichita businesses can divert as many tons of valuable materials from landfills as possible.”

Both facilities will service the recycling needs of businesses located within a 100-mile radius of each plant, while bringing both economic and environmental benefits to the area.