Businesses: Mind your rooftop manners

Families in a new housing estate in North Salt Lake, Utah, are unsure about the presence of Stericycle, an industrial waste recycler, in their midst, reports Deseret News. Google Earth plays a supporting role in the proceedings:

Though Folgmann is still trying to decide where to send her children to school, she said she’s concerned about the black soot that adorns the top of the incinerator.

After she read the news article [about Stericycle], her 12-year-old son, Drew, used Google Earth to look at incinerator sites around Utah. A black circle sits atop Stericycle’s facility but not on top of the Davis County burn plant or on top of the Deseret Chemical Depot, which incinerates chemical and neurological weapons.


Though the state says there is nothing to worry about, her son may be onto something. Here is a KMZ file with Stericycle’s facility and the nearby housing estate marked. The facility looks pretty soot-ridden indeed, though the one caveat on this amateur sleuthing is that it is hard to ascertain when the image was taken — DigitalGlobe’s metadata is noncommittal on the matter.

Some further meta-commentary: 1) Why doesn’t Deseret News provide us with the placemarks? This should be part of the requirements of the beat, these days. 2) If you’re a business, can you still afford to neglect your rooftop’s aesthetics? Sure, not everybody needs to paint roofs in IKEA colors or with Target targets, but filthy rooftops will now be noticed, it seems.