IDAHO PAPER FIRM BOISE MAY RECYCLE PLASTICS

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BOISE, IDAHO — Paper and wood firm Boise Cascade Corp. is considering construction of a plastics and wood recycling facility in Chehalis, Wash., midway between Portland, Ore., and Seattle.

Boise Cascade could take a year or two before making a final decision on the plant, said a company official, who also stressed that the firm may decide the move would not be profitable.

``We're still in the early stages,'' said Vernon Banks, manager of project planning for building products.

The plant would be Boise Cascade's first venture into plastics recycling. According to information supplied by Clean Washington Center, a state agency, the facility would cost $40 million and employ 100. But Banks disputed those figures, saying the facility could be much smaller and equipped with just one or two extrusion lines.

The firm is looking at mixing recycled polyethylene film with wood to create a nonstructural product like particleboard, but is finding it difficult to get plastics that are clean enough, he said.

Boise Cascade, with the help of Seattle's Re-Sourcing Associates Inc., has started with a pilot-scale collection program for waste plastic film, which will allow it to assess available volumes for future use and quantify costs. The pilot program plans to collect 350,000 pounds of waste film plastics per month from south King County, near Seattle.