September 20, 2011 Norampac announced that its Burnaby Mill (recycling) is shutting down no later than December 2011.

This is a sad day, when a domestic mill has to shut down. The capacity of this mill was not huge at 128,000 Metric Tonnes of product output per year, but nonetheless it will change the dynamics of cardboard recycling in the Pacific Northwest.

It is without a doubt that this capacity will be consumed easily by the export markets, but this to me is not the point nor the best solution. In order to have a viable green economy, North American processing capacity needs to exist and to be profitable. We will have to ensure that our processing is adding enough value to compensate for our higher labour costs, higher land costs and other "industrialized" expenses.

Without a doubt, there are no easy solution. Keeping North American processing viable will take technology, capital and interested consumers who want to purchase produce made here. Sadly, loosing another mill may present another opportunity to other mills by potentially allowing them to increase their output and production and reducing their cost of the raw resource.