Comments about ‘In our opinion: Unpleasant but necessary — allow medical waste facility to relocate’

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Published: Monday, March 3 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

"Stericycle emits only 24 tons of the 40,000 tons emitted each year in Salt Lake and Davis counties." Yes, but what's in that 24 tons? According to the Brockovich investigators Stericycle's emissions included some highly toxic substances.

And BTW one need not be right by Stericycle to receive its pollutants. The major part of old North Salt Lake has received plenty.

As to your idea that when Stericycle was located it was all by itself is not quite true. The industrial park was close enough when it was built that there were protests by businesses in that park. I recall distinctly that a photo lab wanted no part of Stericyicle locating there lest particulates mess up developing processes.

Lastly, does medical waste have to be burned? Such medical waste incinerators have been banned almost everywhere in the United States because they are so toxic.

But yes, I agree with you on the point that Stericycle needs to get out of North Salt Lake. It can't be soon enough.

Salt Lake City, UT

Also, Stericycle has admitted to burning prion (as in mad cow disease) containing substances and that the prions are not necessarily destroyed by fire, and can tarry in the environment. The plant also emits dioxins which are well known carcinogens.

An interesting sidebar is that Bain Capital (Romney's firm) once (still does?) owned a substantial amount of Stericycle.

Tooele County resident
Grantsville, UT

This op-ed makes some valid points, but I sensed in our town hall meeting that what many objected to was that the resolution was moving through so quickly, not allowing for residents to be involved in the process, the public not being given the information/dialogue by our leaders to make a wise decision, and being taken for granted that Tooele County will welcome Stericycle with open arms.

The town hall, organized by citizens, was a push for this kind of dialogue we should have been having sooner in the process.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Got to have this facility somewhere, preferably not surrounded by residential areas.

Those who object to having it anywhere should pledge now that they will refuse ALL medical treatment that generates even a single item that needs to be disposed of by Stericycle (or similar) facilities.

Life is not without risk, and more people have been killed or injured driving on SR 36 in Tooele than will ever suffer any ill effects from a relocated Stericycle operation.

Bob Wiley
North Salt Lake, UT

50 miles north of Tooele can't be right. That would put it in the Great Salt Lake west of Ogden.

Tooele, UT

Thanks so much for not taking the time to do any investigative reporting in this article. It's always nice to read such uninformed news. Since this article is wrong in so many aspects, it is hard to point them all out, but here are just a few clarifications:
1 - Stericycle incinerates more than just the local wasatch front's hospital waste. They take in waste from 8 surrounding states. That is straight from the horses mouths (Stericycle).
2- If we are only worried about our local hospitals and their waste - which the article insinuates - then there is already a solution in place. Tooele County already houses another company called Clean Harbors, on the west side of the Stansbury Mountains - out where nobody lives. Clean Harbors is considered a hazardous waste incineration facility. As such, they abide by hazardous waste standards instead of landfill waste standards and as these standards are stricter, we as residents are safer. Furthermore, this company already takes medical waste (and not just of the hazardous waste variety), so it really is a win-win for everyone.
3-What is the rush to push this through soooooo fast? why not wait another year if it is so safe?

Salt Lake City, UT

It should be noted that Bain Capital is now run by an Obama supporter who was/is a bundler for political donations. Linking ANY current policy decisions of Bain Capital to Mitt Romney is incorrect and disingenuous. It is a continuation of the distorted presidential campaign of character assignation that was perpetrated against Romney.

If we want to use high tech modern medicine, we should also be willing to pay for the safe disposal of its waste. Why not ask the company how much safe disposal would cost?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

When they take out your gal bladder... the have to dispose of it. They can't just throw it in the garbage.

When a surgeon is done with surgery he has to dispose of his gown and gloves. They don't just throw it in the garbage.

Syringes, sponges, etc.... it all has to be disposed properly. If Sterecycle doesn't exist... what do we do with it? Just pretend the problem doesn't exist? Put it in the landfill? Ship it to some other State for disposal? That increases the cost and it still has to be disposed of.

Whats the realistic solution from the people who think Sterecycle shouldn't exist anywhere in Utah??


If Government can safely incinerate chemical weapons in that same area... what's the big problem with incinerating biological waste there?

Salt Lake City, UT

@ 2bits "If Government can safely incinerate chemical weapons in that same area... what's the big problem with incinerating biological waste there?"

Well, chemcial weapons and biological waste are different things by a wide margin. Medical waste incinerators have been done away almost everywhere they have been because they are dangerous.

Remember, burning some things doesn't make them vanish. They are just converted to other forms, sometimes worse that the orignial stuff. Remember thermodynamics from college.

heber city, UT

And lets not for get - what goes up does come down, get kicked back up by wind or enter the groundwater table. Perhaps diluted but traces can do harm also. Remember way back when they said DDT was safe!

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