BY REBECCA PALMER
NORTH SALT LAKE — Neighbors in south Davis County joined together on Thursday evening to sere an “eviction” notice to Stericycle, the embattled medical waste incinerator near Foxboro.
The protest was organized by Communities for Clean Air, and was the second for the group. This time, the gathering in front of the incineration plant at 90 N. 1100 West was slightly larger.
“I think it’s disgusting that they’re putting all this gross stuff in the air,” said 14-year-old Kaitlyn Skewes, of Woods Cross. “It harms all of us. It’s just gross. They need to be put down.”
Also in attendance was Representative Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake. She said a complete shutdown of Stericycle is possible, if unlikely. She wants multiple government agencies such as the city, the Utah Division of Air Quality, the governor and state legislatures to meet and discuss solutions.
During the event, protesters staked informal eviction notices on the park strip in front of the Stericycle plant.
Fervor against Stericycle ignited when the air quality division released a scathing Notice of Violation to the company in May. It showed falsification of test results, an instance where an illegal amount of dioxin was released into the air and 16 months of nitrogen oxide emissions that were out of compliance.
The company has since come into compliance but is facing action that could include shutdown, fines, and requirements to install new equipment. It could also face trouble as it attempts to renew its operating permit with the division in coming months.
“We need to get them shut down and we need to have cleaner air to breathe out here,” said Emily Jackson, a North Salt Lake mom who attended the protest. “It’s the last incinerator in (this region of) the nation. It’s just a matter of time.”
Also making an appearance was Dr. Brian Moench, an environmental activist who leads Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. His bright protest sign read, “Hipocritic oath HARM DONE.”
If necessary, Moench said he and Communities for Clean Air could take their fight to hospital groups, which contribute the medical waste Stericycle incinerates such as used shots, blood, potentially infected clothing and wound-dressing and more.
“There is a real inconsistency there,” he said.
Famed consumer advocate Erin Brokovich have also joined the fight, according to her research Bob Bowcock, based in California. He is particularly concerned about why the Foxborow neighborhood was allowed to be built so close to the Stericycle plant, and for the children living there.
“That’s the whole thing that just drives me nuts is the schools," he said. "I think there’s something fishy going on here."