ALL NEWS

Stericycle can no longer burn medical waste in SLC, but the fight to stop toxic pollutants may not be over

Jul 6, 2022, 8:00 PM
Local environmental groups are taking a victory lap now that a medical waste incinerator in North S...
Local environmental groups are taking a victory lap now that a medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake belonging to Stericycle, has been shut down. Photo credit: 📸 Lindsay Aerts, KSL NewsRadio.

NORTH SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — Local environmental groups are taking a victory lap now that a medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake belonging to Stericycle, has been shut down.

According to the group, Utah physicians for a Healthy Environment, who’s been at the forefront of stopping the plant from burning medical waste in Utah, Stericycle will now take its medical waste to burn near Reno, Nevada.

Stericycle in Reno

“Unfortunately their [Reno] County Commission approved that facility,” said Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment CEO Jonny Vasic. “Now it won’t be operating for a couple more years, but incinerating medical waste there will be just as inappropriate as it was here.”

During a press conference celebrating the shutdown Wednesday, Vasic said that community activists in Reno have reached out for help to stop the burning from coming to their area.

“We tried to provide as much help as we could to them to resist this,” Vasic said.

Stericycle’s past fines

The reported move by Stericycle comes after nearly a decade of attempts from concerned citizens, community groups and even massive fines against the company to regulate its burning.

“For 33 years, Stericycle poured out of their smokestack a witches brew of many of the most toxic substances known to science,” said Dr. Brian Moench, president of UPHE.

In 2014, the plant got a hefty fine from Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality for going over toxic emissions limits. Stericycle allegedly attempted to make it appear they were in compliance through rigged stack tests. In 2019 it was given three years to move to a remote part of Tooele County.

In a statement sent to KSL.com, Stericycle says it is moving outside of Utah but did not confirm where.

“As demand for medical waste management in the United States continues to increase, driven largely by growing health care needs, Stericycle has sought relocation to account for the infrastructure needed to expand our capacity,” the company said. “We look forward to continuing to help the health care industry address complex medical waste disposal challenges in a safe and responsible manner, both in the North Salt Lake Community and across all communities where we operate.”

They also tell KSL.com that the North Salt Lake facility will still have some activity, despite the incinerator being closed.

“Stericycle proudly remains part of the North Salt Lake Community,” Stericycle said.

The company says the North Salt Lake City facility will be used as a collection and transportation facility, employing approximately 20 team members to service health care customers throughout the greater Salt Lake region.

“Approximately an additional 20 team members who worked at the North Salt Lake facility have been impacted, with half accepting alternate roles with Stericycle and half accepting severance packages. This change to our operations has been planned for several years.”

Related stories

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

One person is dead following a three vehicle crash in Sanpete County around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Ja...
Waverly Golden

Three vehicle crash in Sanpete County leaves one dead

One person is dead following a three vehicle crash in Sanpete County around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 28.
1 day ago
Tyre Nichols Protests...
Nouran Salahieh, Jamiel Lynch, Chuck Johnston, Shawn Nottingham, Andy Rose and Phil Gast, CNN

More protests today after release of video depicting the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols

Protesters across the US heldmarches & rallies on Saturday, one day after the release of video showing the police beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
1 day ago
Gov. Spencer Cox covered a broad range of issues Thursday night at the State of the State Address. ...
Chandler Holt

Governor Spencer Cox signs transgender bill, releases statement

Gov. Spencer Cox released a statement on the transgender bill, that would ban transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for minors, on Saturday.
1 day ago
Temperatures dropping weather worsens...
Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

‘Dangerous’ arctic air returns this weekend after a month-long hiatus

What has been a mild start to 2023 will come to a halt this weekend as winter makes a roaring comeback across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
1 day ago
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, talks about SB117, which he is sponsoring, during a Senate Judicia...
Devin Oldroyd

Two Republicans voted against bill banning transgender-related surgery, here’s why

The Utah Senate has approved a bill banning transgender-related surgery and puberty blockers for minors. A total of two Republicans voted against it.
2 days ago
Rabbi Avremi Zippel talks to the crowd during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Viv...
Mark Jones

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Area rabbi shares his thoughts

Rabbi Avremi Zippel joined Inside Sources Friday to discuss International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Stericycle can no longer burn medical waste in SLC, but the fight to stop toxic pollutants may not be over