ALBUQUERQUE, N.M-President Russell Begaye signed an agreement between the Navajo Division of Economic Development (DED) and Presidio Environmental Southwest to develop an environmental complex consisting of a paper pulp mill on the Navajo Nation.
President Begaye formalized the memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Sept. 29, to initiate a study to find a viable location for the mill.
“By signing this MOA, we’re taking steps to address recycling on a national and global scale while also boosting our economy with an anticipated 200 to 400 jobs within the recycling plant,” President Begaye said. “Once a location is determined, this project stands to create revenue through leases, taxes and fees.”
The paper pulp mill offers potential to support secondary markets for business development and housing.
An increase in paper recycling is driving the demand for pulp and paper products both nationally and globally. In 2016, approximately 69 percent of paper products in the United States were made from recycled paper. The increase in demand drives the recycled paper market.
In addressing the need to recycle paper and reduce waste, President Begaye said a paper pulp mill will utilize the Navajo workforce to create a sought-after resource that supports reduced impacts to the environment. This dynamic solution creates product from waste resources.
“This study is part of a bigger picture in addressing waste on the Navajo Nation,” President Begaye said. “Separate of this project, the Nation is working on developing 16 waste collection sites that will help feed the paper resources needed to produce pulp. I don’t see that finding a location for the mill will be a problem.”
The study is set to conclude on Dec. 31 and considers factors like access to the railway, roads, water and energy sources. It is also inclusive of an analysis of the market for feedstock and pulp materials.