PORTLAND, OR -  Tons of urban wood waste collected in Portland, Oregon are likely to end up in landfills following the suspension of production at a major paper mill customer in Newberg, OR.

Some 60,000 tons of wood waste - construction lumber and panel, broken pallets, and other wood materials collected by the city of Portland were burned as bio fuel by SP Fiber Technologies at its Newberg linerboard paper plant. The mill received more than a hundred thousand tons of Portland’s salvaged timber last year, reports James Cronin in the Portland Business Journal. 

SP Fiber Technologies, which is updating the production line in Newberg, is owned by WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK), formed this summer from the merger of Rock-Tenn and MeadWestvaco. WestRock is one of the world's largest paper and packaging companies with $15 billion in annual revenue and 42,000 employees in 30 countries ,and  275 operating and business locations around the world

Cronin says the Newberg mill's age exempted it from new federal regulations, allowing it to burn treated, laminated and painted wood, along with railroad ties and other construction materials. Other mills can burn clean, "blonde" wood that meet federal standards. But painted and other contaminated wood will be forced to landfills.

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