Pratt to bring recycling warehouse to Gary location
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/302-0949 July 15, 2014 6:00PM
Updated: July 16, 2014 2:01AM
GARY — When an international paper recycling company needed a spot to store paper-based materials, Gary was the choice.
It came down to one asset — location. That’s what representatives from Pratt Industries told the Board of Zoning Appeals as they received a special use permit Tuesday to operate a fiber bailing storage warehouse at 1 N. Bridge St., near U.S. Steel and the Indiana Toll Road. The area is zoned for heavy manufacturing, but city ordinances don’t specify other uses.
The city council will consider final approval of the permit at its Aug. 5 meeting.
Shawn State, a recycling area vice president with Pratt, said the company looked at facilities in Portage, Wanatah, Hanna and others.
“Gary worked because of the building, along with location,” State said. Pratt officials liked the location that’s close to the toll road, Interstate 80-94 and Interstate 65.
The materials to be recycled include books, corrugated boxes, and other paper materials.
In March, Pratt broke ground on a $260 million recycled paper plant on Indiana 49, near U.S. 30 in Valparaiso, next to its existing box factory. State said the Gary facility will hold bales of paper materials until they can be transported to the mill for recycling.
Pratt plans to lease the 110,000-square-foot bay on Bridge Street from Charlie Dunn, who operates a packaging plant. Dunn said, in fact, he could end up buying the recycled paper back from Pratt.
State said Pratt prefers to have hubs located around its paper mills as part of its business plan.
State said the fiber bailing operation should require about 10 skilled labor jobs, such as forklift operators.
The Valparaiso plant, which should open next year, is expected to create about 100 new jobs.