This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
John Hollenhorst ReportingA new industry may be headed for Utah and it's quite a surprise. If it comes, it would be the Mountain West's first new paper-mill in several decades. It's been a hush-hush project until it leaked out today.
The proposed paper-mill would convert used office paper into tissue paper. It would be built in St. George by a Connecticut company, but Seattle-based Weyerhaeuser would be a principle supplier of used paper. A Weyerhaeuser executive revealed the proposal in a speech to the Utah Recycling Coalition.
Peter Grogan, Weyerhaeuser Company: “This is truly exciting. There has not been a mill sited, a recycle mill sited in the Rocky Mountain region for decades.”
Brad Mertz, Executive Director, Recycling Coalition of Utah: "This is something, with a paper mill coming, that I thought we would never, ever see in the state. Paper mills take a lot of water. And so to see that come to Utah is an amazing thing."
Although the office-paper mill would presumably be good news in St. George, the area's top economic development official told us he can't talk about it because he's under a confidentiality agreement.
The official did say he believes a paper mill's resource needs can be met in St. George, including water. Other sites are under consideration, but St. George appears to be the front-runner.
Utah has one of the lowest recycling rates in the nation. Some hope an in-state mill would give recycling a shot in the arm. A formal announcement on the paper mill may come this summer.