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Shut down Hill Air Force Base incinerator

Published September 28, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Woods Cross citizens are concerned about the incinerator burning medical waste. They allege that it is producing toxic gases hazardous to their health. A far greater hazard is the incinerator at Hill Air Force Base, the best kept secret since its 26 years of operation.

It looked like a great idea at the time. A huge dump truck of solid waste empties a load into the incinerator, it is burned, and less than a pickup load of ashes is left. What a reduction in the quantity of waste. What you didn't see was all those gases released in the process. If you add the mass of the ashes to the mass of the gases produced, it would equal the mass of all the waste in the big dump truck. These include nitrous oxide penetrating our upper atmosphere and causing an increase in skin cancer, methane gas trapping heat in our atmosphere and carbon dioxide causing global warming and acidity in the oceans. That pickup load of ash contains many dangerous heavy metals which are deposited in the landfill, where they leach ground into water.

Here's my suggestion, tear down the burn plant and recycle the former wastes. Convert the heating of the buildings to supply steam, heated by natural gas. Let's recycle the incinerator at Hill.

Bob Van Velkinburgh

Syracuse