- Associated Press - Saturday, July 29, 2017

DAYTON, Wash. (AP) - A proposed $184 million pulp mill in southeast Washington plans to take straw, a waste product from wheat and alfalfa farms, and convert it into pulp for paper and packaging products.

Columbia Pulp says construction is expected to begin in August after the company secured financing for the manufacturing facility in Dayton.

The mill is unusual in that it will convert straw from wheat and alfalfa - rather than trees - to make paper and other products. The straw will come from wheat and alfalfa farmers in the surrounding area.

Company officials say converting straw that is typically burned as waste will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as the demand for trees in pulp production.

A state agency helped facilitate a tax-exempt loan that will allow the project to obtain lower interest rates. The Washington Economic Development Finance Authority says no state money or taxpayer dollars are being used.

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