“Finding a reliable source to recycle our scrap paper has always been a problem,” says Steve Agen, Sonderen General Manager. In past years, we have also struggled with dependability and communication challenges, and have only been permitted to recycle 90%-95% of our scrap paper due to the limitations of our previous vendor. We have also invested over one million dollars into a new scrap recycling system. This system increases our ability to separate the different grades of scrap paper, making our bales more attractive to the paper mills.

We generate approximately 2,400 tons of scrap paper per year. This scrap is prime material for recycling into alternate forms of paper. Inland Empire Paper (IEP) creates everything from newsprint to envelope stock, bag stock, and packaging material. “We are one of the few mills left in North America and definitely in the Western United States, that can produce so many different types of paper,” says Luke Fritz, Transportation Manager for IEP.

IEP is just 13 minutes door-to-door from Sonderen, making transporting our scrap material a significant factor in reducing our carbon footprint as a company. IEP reliably removes 99% of the scrap paper we produce, resulting in at least two 60,000-pound truckloads of brown paper scrap bales per week and two truckloads of white paper scrap bales per month.

Matt Sonderen reflects, that “finding a local source has been a game-changer for improving the efficiencies of our manufacturing plant and our sustainability efforts. We feel good that a local company can convert our high-caliber material into products that promote a circular economy.”