Ollie North would be in heaven.
The central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, whose penchant for shredding sensitive documents has become legendary, would have to marvel at the 10,000 pounds of paper destroyed each day at the Davis County Solid Waste Management Special Service District.The plant, which opened in October, now processes 5 tons of confidential documents a day from places like the IRS Service Center in Ogden, Utah State Tax Commission, State Archives, Utah National Guard and local police agencies, manager Jim Young says.
Young said the IRS is one of the plant's major customers, bringing in about a ton of paper a day. The plant has also destroyed marijuana, guns and other contraband from local police officers. Banks, medical clinics and the state Social Services Department are on the list of customers.
"We handle sensitive materials for those that want to ensure its integrity until it is destroyed," Young said.
The plant has about 12 contracts for sensitive material disposal. For example, on Monday a pickup truck loaded with sensitive documents in boxes marked "FAA" backed through the large plant doors. Men in hard hats and goggles unloaded the boxes and watched as a large crane picked them up and dropped them into a furnace hopper. Within 45 minutes they emerged as ashes. Officials, if they choose, can even watch the fiery destruction on closed circuit television.
According to Nathan Parkin, records technician at the State Archives, the office occasionally uses its paper shredder, but for the most part it has become easier to take documents to the burn plant.
"The paper shredder has become such a hassle it is just easier to burn them," Parkin said.