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 SPRINGFIELD, Ore., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Weyerhaeuser Co. today announced that Springfield Mayor Bill Morrisette used a yellow lift truck to start up Weyerhaeuser's new Paper Recycling Operation (PRO) in Springfield today.
 Morrisette hopped aboard the lift truck and loaded a conveyor belt with the first half-ton bale of old cardboard, thus "cutting the ribbon" for the new Springfield facility.
 "Weyerhaeuser's investment in recycling sends a strong message the company is committed to this community, its employees and the environment," Morrisette said. "The company is conserving wood resources by increasing the amount of recycled paper used to make pulp."
 Weyerhaeuser began the $70 million project almost three years ago and then delayed it because of poor business conditions. After careful review, the company renewed construction last August. The project's major components are a $45 million paper recycling operation (PRO) and a $25 million paper machine modernization.
 "It's important that we take advantage of all low-cost fiber sources, especially old corrugated containers -- what we call OCC," said Rich Hanson, vice president, Springfield Containerboard. "For years, consumers threw OCC away, using up landfill space and wasting a valuable resource. Not any more. Recycling is the key to helping the environment and improving our competitive position."
 The new facility occupies five acres of the Springfield mill site and will deliver 450 tons per day of recycled fiber to two paper machines.
 Features of the project include a new railroad spur and truck access to receive, unload and store bales of wastepaper in a large warehouse the size of two football fields. Bales are conveyed into a new two-story building to be processed into usable fiber.
 A pulper, similar to a giant blender, breaks down the bales and removes large material such as rocks and wire. A series of screens remove plastics and staples. Cyclone-type cleaners remove fine grit and waxes. Acceptable fiber is stored in a 90-foot tall, 400-ton-capacity storage chest.
 The new plant uses water recycled from the paper machines to produce the recycled pulp. As a result, the plant draws no additional water from the McKenzie River, leaving strict water quality permits unchanged.
 "This investment in recycling offers tremendous benefits to society, our customers, and our Springfield employees," said Ron Glick, vice president of Weyerhaeuser's Containerboard Packaging Division.
 "Society wants more recycling and protection for the environment. Our customers want high-quality paper products that contain recycled fiber. This mill needs lower-cost fiber, because severe timber harvest restrictions on public lands have inflated chip prices and hurt our competitive position.
 "By making investments like this one, we're positioning Weyerhaeuser for long-term success," Glick stated.
 According to Mike Wilton, project manager, the paper recycling operation will pull waste corrugated boxes and scrap paper from 11 western states and the upper Midwest. The new operation doubles the amount of recycled fiber Weyerhaeuser processes in Oregon. The North Bend Containerboard mill is also a large user of recycled fiber.
 "The amount of recycled material we'll use every year in Springfield would fill the University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium nearly three times," Wilton said. "Our employees -- and the entire community -- can be proud of the positive impact this plant will have on the environment."
 Building the facility employed close to 250 people over a 12-month period, Wilton said, with as many as 200 people working at the peak of construction. Sixteen people will run the facility, which will operate around the clock, 355 days a year.
 Harris Group of Portland designed the facility. Harder Mechanical Contractors Inc., teamed up with Electrical Construction, both of Portland, to act as a general contractor. Ordell Construction of Springfield built the storage warehouse. From Eugene, Morse Bros. Inc., provided 9,000 cubic yards of concrete (about 900 truckloads), and Delta Sand & Gravel removed and filled 120,000 cubic yards of material during site preparation. Much of the building arrived as pre-cast concrete panels built by Central Pre-Mix in Spokane, Wash.
 -0- 9/13/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Barnum of Weyerhaeuser, 503-741-5431/

CO: Weyerhaeuser Co. ST: Oregon IN: PAP SU:

IC-JH -- SE007 -- 1543 09/13/93 20:19 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 13, 1993

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