Somerset County Workshop is hoping to convert big piles of shredded paper into nice neat stacks of greenbacks.

The county’s planning commission on Tuesday announced that the workshop has received a $140,052 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection, with the funds set to go toward opening a paper-shredding operation.

The workshop expects to profit from the process by charging customers to destroy documents and then selling the shredded waste to companies looking for recycled paper.

“It’s a win-win,” workshop Director Jackie O’Connor said.

O’Connor thinks the plant can be running by July.

Workshop administrators want the facility to become certified to shred legal and medical papers and possibly even sensitive Internal Revenue Services documents.

The new program also is expected to help further the organization’s mission of providing vocational rehabilitation for disabled individuals.

“It will be used to provide a real valuable service in the community,” county planning commission Director Brad Zearfoss said.

Somerset County government provided 10 percent in matching funds.

This is the first major grant the county has received since putting together a new solid waste management plan.

“Now we can maybe get some more grants if there are any out there to get,” county Commissioner John Vatavuk said.

The grant money will be used to purchase industrial shredders and other materials.

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