Waste plant and North Salt Lake neighborhood remain in conflict; residents want Stericycle plant shuttered
Critics of Stericycle say autoclaves could be used to sterilize the waste before it is buried at landfill — a clean air alternative that won't leave neighbors worried about their health. The EPA estimates 90 percent of medical waste is incinerated in the United States, with the greatest concern being the resulting emissions.
"This is a great neighborhood with tons of parks and walkways, tons of lids and five elementary schools," Hincks-Henderson said. "This place should not be around where people are living."
North Salt Lake City Manager Barry Edwards said the city is waiting to see how the state investigation plays out. Stericycle has a conditional use permit first approved by the city planning commission in 1990.
Over the years, residents and activists have raised concerns with city leaders over the emission of dioxins and other pollutants, but Edwards said the permit can't be revoked until the state settles its case or if criminal charges are filed.
He noted that businesses like Stericycle have to exist somewhere and residents of Foxboro were aware of the plant's existence when they moved in.
"Every (original buyer) in that neighborhood signed an acknowledgement that they realized they were moving in next to a medical waste incinerator plant," he said, adding that some sort of disclosure would have been made to subsequent owners. "It is really hard for the city to say, 'Stericycle, move. These people don't like you.' They knew."
Hincks-Henderson acknowledges there may have been some disclosure about Stericycle when she purchased her home nearly five years ago, but she said it only detailed there would be bright lights and truck traffic.
"We were not informed of what they were doing."
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