VALPARAISO, Indiana - This month, Pratt Industries is celebrating three years of making paper at its $260 million recycled paper mill in Valparaiso.
The Valpo mill, located 50 miles southeast of Chicago is on the same site as Pratt's corrugated box plant, the world's largest. It supplies that facility as well the company's other box-making sites throughout the region with recycled paper.
"Congratulations and thank you for making Valpo a reality," Valpo Mill Manager Jay Hennessey wrote in an email to the Pratt team. "It is hard to believe that it has been three years since we first made paper."
As a thank you, workers were treated to a steak lunch on the anniversary.
Since the facility started up in October of 2015, the mill's capacity is up to 360,000 tons per year, and Hennessey said future plans are to invest in projects that will push that to 460,000 tons a year.
Pratt Industries officially broke ground on March of 2014 on its 100 percent recycled paper mill - the 4th such facility it's built in the past 20 years. At the time, company chairman Anthony Pratt said the Valparaiso, Indiana, mill would be world's most technologically-advanced and environmentally friendly recycling mill and was "a dream come true" for Pratt Industries. "This mill will be a showcase of 21st century recycling technology which will result in the best performing recycled paper on the market," he said.
Just this year, the company broke ground on a 5th mill in Wapakoneta, Ohio that should begin operation next year.