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Abstract

Until it was mothballed and put up for sale in December 1987, a small paper mill in Hyde Park, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Boston 's city limits, was the oldest continuously operating paper mill in the United States. This particular plant closing occurred at a time manufacturing employment in the state had fallen off precipitously. It also coincided with an awareness among some policymakers that recycling programs were urgently needed to combat a garbage glut, in Massachusetts and states across the nation, attributable to an increasingly wasteful society and dwindling landfill capacity. Efforts to reopen the Hyde Park mill served to illuminate a host of public policy concerns, including deindustrialization, economic development, and recycling. This episode in the life of the Hyde Park mill is a story of public and private interest and the complexities that emerge when reconciling the two, as well as of a community institution, partnerships renewed, and a commitment to carry both into the future.

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