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Locals celebrate closure of Stericycle incinerator in North Salt Lake

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Fox 13

After years of protesting, local activists are finally able to celebrate the closing of a medical waste incinerator that has loomed over North Salt Lake.

During its 33 years of operation, Stericycle’s incinerator has been accused of failing to control toxic emissions, even after upgrading its means of operations. As a result, the nearby Foxboro neighborhood has had to endure conspicuous black plumes of smoke for years since the incinerator first opened in 1989.

On top of toxic emissions, Stericycle’s incinerator has been accused of rigging emissions tests, being fined $2.6 million last year by the Environmental Protection Agency. Stericycles had multiple violations of their permit and had been allegedly committing false tax stack test fraud.

Faced with the issues brought about through Stericycle’s looming presence over North Salt Lake, many activists both independent and part of groups, have taken it upon themselves to protest the incinerator’s existence as well as its impact on the environment and community around it.

But now, Stericycles is moving out of state to Nevada and activists couldn’t be happier. The group Utah Physicians for a Health Environment will be celebrating the closure of the incinerator at noon on Wednesday.

Dr. Brian Moench, a member of the group, explained that populations near incinerators have higher rates of health issues such as premature death, cancer and reproductive disorders.

According to Stericycle, a change in operations has been planned for several years to meet the demand for medical waste management.