Stericycle clinical waste incinerator violates air quality standards; allegations of cheating

A medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake has been cited for releasing too much emissions and falsifying tests.

Stericycle was handed the violation by the Division of Air Quality on Wednesday. “During the test, it didn’t appear that they were operating normally,” said DAQ Director Bryce Bird. “They were perhaps changing the feed rates, or changing some parts of the process in order to pass the test.”

Stericycle is described as a non-hazardous hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerator. Some of the accepted waste includes surgical specimens, tissues, blood and bodily fluids.

The facility is located immediately next to the Foxboro neighborhood in North Salt Lake. Some of the residents of that neighborhood are concerned about the types of emissions released from the facility, and what kind of impact it might have on their health.

“If I knew what kind of work they were doing there, we would have never moved into this neighborhood,” said Natasha Henderson, a Foxboro resident, who lives near the facility. “We’ve heard there are safer ways of doing [their work], and I don’t know why they’re not changing to that way. We want to see the incinerator shut down.”

The company refused to comment.

The company has 15 days to respond to the Division of Air Quality. They must then prove they’re in compliance, and they will be hit with a hefty fine as punishment.

Varying load or feed rates and fiddling with operational parameters to succeed in regulatory performance tests is a serious infringement and if proven should carry the most severe penalty.


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  1. “Local residents concerned with the ‘toxins’ the medical waste incinerator facility Stericycle emits are signing a petition asking the company to shut down or move.

    “The petition, on change. org, was started by Farmington resident Alicia Connell. It had more than 90 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, and grew quickly. The petition is specifically aimed at residents of Foxboro, the neighborhood contiguous to Stericycle, and surrounding areas.

    Ordinarily, that petition would be a nuisance, a minor diversion, that would not really trouble an operator. However, in several US Sates the law works in a wondrous way and gives extraordinary rights to citizens.

    This is one to keep an eye on.


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