Short post on a positive development

I think this is good news for the City. Yeah, it is just a warehouse, but it is a huge warehouse: at almost 12 acres, it will have a 20% bigger footprint than BC Place. The few dozen jobs it provides are less important than the security of knowing that New Westminster’s largest industrial employer is investing further in the community. It is also good to have brownfields put back into the industrial tax base.

Go ahead, call me a faux environmentalist for saying good things about a stinkin’ paper mill, but Kruger is an example of value-added manufacturing for our domestic renewable resources, and have taken many steps to reduce the environmental impact of their products. Kruger is one of the leading producers of paper products from post-consumer fibres (that stuff you put out in the blue box). Here in New Westminster, they recently invested in a biomass gasification system to vaporize then burn scrap wood and paper and reduce their need for fossil fuels. Making paper can, ultimately, become a sustainable industry, and these small steps are heading that way down that very long road (maybe if we can all stop demanding that the paper we use to wipe our privates is whiter than the drifting snow? Ah, never mind)

As a caveat, any time you talk about a half-million square foot warehouse, you need to talk about how things are going in and out of the warehouse. This may represent a significant amount of truck traffic coming to the area of Queensborough that is already suffering from a freeway pushed through the middle of it and all the congestions, noise and emissions that come with it. The good news is that the Queensborough Landing site has two advantages: an adjacent rail spur, and an adjacent river. The river especially opens up and exciting opportunity: this could be a model situation for short sea shipping. The Kruger plant is 5km from this new warehouse by road (and that includes in increasingly-congested Queensborough Bridge), but it is less than 2km by the North Arm of the Fraser River. Kruger can reduce it’s greenhouse gasses and fuel costs significantly by using small barges to move goods between the two sites along a lightly-used piece of tidewater. This seems like a no-brainer, but I say this without knowing what regulatory nightmares Port Metro Vancouver might put in their way. It seems PMV is more interested in moving trucks around these days than dealing with actual floating things. Kruger has demonstrated an interest in being environmentally innovative in the past, let’s hope they follow through here.

Call it greenwashing if you want, but compared to some industry’s approach to the environment, it is good to see new Westminster’s largest manufacturer taking measurable steps in the right direction.

I’m not just saying that because they sponsor curling. But it helps.

5 comments on “Short post on a positive development

  1. P@J, you are a recreant environmentalist.

    With any luck Corner Brook will leed the way so they can implement the same thing here in one percent increments until they reach the provincial emission standards ! Nothing to worry about Freddy Kruger NWEP has your back !

  2. “Recreant”. Interesting adjective. I am pretty sure you don’t know what it means.
    It is not a direct synonym for “cowardly” as your pocket thesaurus may suggest. It is better defined as “relenting under significant pressure”, or one who gives up the fight once the heat goes up.

    So what pressure did Kruger put on me, causing me to relent and suggest that integrating biomass gasification and moving toward post-consumer fibres are good things, and that they should look to Short Sea Shipping? Your criticism doesn’t even make sense. Give me one example where I have relented to pressure on an environmental issue. I am much more the go-down screaming then patiently wait for the chance to say I told you so type!

    Wait, am I being called cowardly by a person who posts anonymous insults on a blog?

    As for the use of shredded tires as fuel, the situation in Cornerbrook is quite different than here. They are using it in a boiler, as part of the mix of Bunker C and hog fuel they usually burn. From an emissions standard, the tires are better than the Bunker C. The wood gasification plant here is not designed to burn fuel oil, or rubber for that matter, so I wouldn’t worry about them slyly switching over here.

    Andrew, what do you know about the euphemistic TDF? I think we can both agree that burning might not be the best way to manage any fossil-fuel-derived wastes from a sustainability standpoint, but when it is used as an alternative to Bunker C, perhaps there is an argument to be made? Frankly, I don;t know enough about the topic

    Oh, and Kruger? Make the cheque out to “cash” please.

  3. This is exactly why I take great issue with your work, because it is based on conjecture and not fact.

    The word you failed to look up is ‘recreant’, the word on which you base your reply is ‘recant’.

    Something which you should now be doing.

  4. I actually didn’t look up any word, and I assure you I did not confuse it with “recant”, which is a verb, not an adjective (ask your teacher after recess).

    Now being called upon to support my “conjecture”, here is the OED entry on “recreant”:

    Etymology: (Anglo-Norman recreent, Anglo-Norman and Middle French recreant vanquished, defeated (12th cent. in Old French), cowardly (12th cent.), tired, exhausted (13th cent.), base (13th cent.), false (14th cent.), use as adjective of present participle of recroire. Now poet. and literary.
    A. adj. 1. Designating a person who admits to having been defeated or overcome; that yields or surrenders; in a condition of surrender or defeat; defeated; (hence) cowardly, faint-hearted, craven, afraid.

    “recant” doesn’t even have the same word root, as it derives from the classical Latin for “to echo” or “to retract”, and means something completely different.

    Which I assume you will do now.

    On the subject of Kruger, ever hear of the Dunning-Kruger effect?

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