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July 08, 1992 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1992-07-08

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Wednesday, July 8, 1992 - The Michigan Daily Summer Weekly-7
North Campus incinerator changes its image

by Valerie Levieux As a result of residents' fears, last May the University began to
The University recently converted the former North Campus store the carcasses in freezers until radioactivity decayed off. This
incinerator into a new "Waste Transfer Facility," partially in measure has reduced annual incinerations from 140 to 64, which
response to residents' attempts earlier in the year to close down the means "a little more than one incineration per week," Oswley said.
old incinerator.
According toa factsheet provided by the University'sNewsand
Information Services (NIS), the purpose of the new facility is "to After new procedures were established at the
allow the continuation of importantresearch andmedical treatment
... by ensuring the safe transportation, containment, monitoring, North Campus incinerator, annual
interim storage and ultimate disposal of wastes and byproducts incinerations decreased from 140 to 64.
containing radio nuclides, while complying with regulations."
Joseph Oswley, NIS director, said the former incinerator was
used to dispose of research animals' carcasses with traces of The level of radiation is now one-hundredth of a millirem -
radioactivity. Although the amount of the radiation was less than a exceeding safety standards.
millirem, which Oswley said posed "no danger, scientifically," SinceMichigan hasrefused tohavelow-levelwasteshippedout
some North Campus residents were still concemed. of state as part of a federally-approved regional radioactive waste

disposal plan, this waste is kept on University premises.
The new Waste Transfer Facility is also equipped to collect and
prepare for shipping chemical wastes which are now kept for pick
up around campus. Although this procedure is potentially danger-
ous in case of spills, the University said these wastes will not be
handledin the facilityuntilapprovals by state agencies are received.
The majority of low-level radioactive waste, kept in barrels, is
dry waste - laboratory gloves, glass, paper. Two-thirds of low-
level radioactive waste decays within three years and is later
disposed of normally.
Despite the campaign by North Campus residents to close down
the incinerator earlier in the year, the majority of the students
questionedseemedeitherunawareoftheexistenceofanincinerator
or its conversion into a Waste Transfer Facility.
Moststudentsalsosaidthey wereunsureofthetypeofwasteand
how it is disposed of in the new facility.

i

City council
spares RAA
from staff reports
City councilmembers barely spared
Recycle Ann Arbor (RAA) from pos-
sibly having to close its doors. During
their Monday meeting, City Council
voted 5-4 to bailout the organization
instead of accepting new bids for the
city's recycling contract.
Had the two absent members of the
council voted, the sixth vote needed to
pass the measure to accept new bids
may have been obtained.
Due to recent financial problems,
the four opposing councilmembers felt
that other ftrms could continue pro-
cessing the city's recyclables at about
one-third of RAA's cost. RAA has a
$4.5 million, three-year processing
contract with the city.
Earlier in the year, Browning Ferris
Industries claimed it could process city
recyclables until 1994 for $10 a ton -
substantially less than the $33 a ton
RAA charges.
Some conservative members of the
council charged that RAA is receiving
special treatment from the Democratic
city leadership.
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