A former worker from Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake City has accused the company of illegally burning radioactive waste. Nearby residents are asking Governor Gary Herbert once again to shut down the incinerator.
The anonymous man wore a mask and sunglasses. His voice was disguised in an interview with investigative video outlet Environews USA. He said supervisors instructed him not to scan and weigh all the containers that went into the incinerator. He also said he was instructed to burn some radioactive materials. Both of these allegations would be violations of Stericycle’s permit.
“This changes everything,” says Alicia Connell, a former resident of the Foxboro neighborhood next to the incinerator. “Now I have to worry about what repercussions are going to come from my family and their exposure to not only the regular toxins, but now let’s add radioactivity to that, and over capacitating, and all the things that they’re talking about and fudging. How many days were they really in violation?”
Stericycle representatives said in a statement that they are conducting their own investigation. However, “they believe many of the claims made in the interview are not feasible due to the numerous monitoring systems and procedures in place, the contractual arrangements we have with our customers and the regulatory oversight at the North Salt Lake facility.”
The last full inspection of the facility by the State Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste was done in March, last year. That’s according to the state’s Solid Waste Program Manager Allan Moore. Moore told KUER that another inspection will happen soon, but he also conceded there is no way to know if the facility is compliant with its permits on the days when the inspectors are not there.
The citizens group Communities for Clean Air along with Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment say they believe the incinerator poses a danger to public health, and they want the Governor to shut down the facility immediately.