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Saving the Rock-Tenn plant

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The Pioneer Press had an article on June 28 on the effort to save the Rock Tenn paper-recycling plant in St. Paul. The plant has operated for the past century and provides good paying jobs. The plant relies on steam piped across the river from the High Bridge coal plant for its process heat. Unfortunately for the plant and its employees, the planned conversion of the High Bridge plant to natural gas as part of the MERP (Metro Emissions Reductions Project) agreement with Xcel, the plant will lose it supply of steam.

City and county officials are looking to switch the plant to burning garbage (formally, RDF) as a long term option. Understandably, at least one environmental group (Eureka Recycling, based in Mpls, who is consulting on the project) and some neighborhood groups are concerned about this. However, in contrast to the Minneapolis incinerator, the garbage would be sorted beforehand to remove noncombustibles, which is supposed to make the process cleaner.