By Rebecca Palmer
I have gotten deep into the Stericycle controversy over the summer, and it’s good to see the issues regarding the North Salt Lake medical waste incinerator gaining the widespread attention they deserve.
It’s even more heartening to see so many concerned citizens coming out of the woodwork to voice their views on the matter. It’s a refreshing sign of community involvement and a direct challenge to the idea that everyone has become apathetic about where they live.
I am unsure what will happen with this situation, or what should happen. Stericycle has on its side the fact that the plant was there first and that tests show that its emission problems have been resolved, but protesters say Stericycle should have spoken out more before the neighborhood was built, that its record of violations spans more than a year and that they still see black, smoky pollution that signifies the plant is bypassing its air scrubbing system. They say criminal prosecutions are likely, but the Clipper hasn’t been able to confirm that independently.
It is because of local activist groups that these issues have come to light, and we praise them for their effort, despite the outcome. Groups involved include Communities for Clean Air, Utah Moms for Clean Air, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, the Sierra Club and more.
Sadly, this show of community engagement has become all too rare. But that can change, and we hope it does. We encourage all our readers to become involved in civic organizations or to rally around the causes that are important to them in their own neighborhoods and beyond.
For example, consider joining the Davis County League of Women Voters if you are concerned about education, access to voting and local campaign finance reform. You can find more about them on facebook.com.
If your political views lean to the right, consider becoming active in the Davis County Republican Party or the Davis County Republican Women group. You can find them online.
If you lean left, think about joining hands with the Davis County Democratic Party.
There are also options that are less political. For example, you can learn about history by joining the Sons of Daughters of Utah Pioneers.
To meet community leaders and participate in efforts such as the Davis Clipper Spelling Bee, consider the Rotary club or another service organization. If you are concerned about Bountiful’s plans for a new city hall, seek out Dean Collinwood and the group that wrote to the Clipper about it in the Aug. 29 edition, or contact officials in favor of the new building.
The options are numerous, and we strongly believe that meeting with people in your neighborhood face to face is vital if you want a safe, happy community and the sense of belonging we all yearn for. Check out “What to do in Davis” on page 10 of this edition for more ideas.
We would like to know what groups you are involved in locally and what those groups are doing to make our community better. Please send calendar event listings to Rebecca Jamieson at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also become more active by sending me your letters to the editor at email@example.com.
Davis County and its cities have a reputation for being great places to live and raise families, and it has been the community involvement of the past that has made it such. Let’s continue the tradition for generations to come.