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Stericycle, Inc.
Traded as
IndustryServices: compliant regulated waste disposal, secure information destruction services, recall services, sustainability services, communications services
Key people
Cindy J Miller, president and chief executive officer
Dan Ginnetti, chief financial officer
  • Increase US$ 3.58 billion (2017) [1]
  • Increase US$ 1.913,149 billion (2012) [1]
  • Increase US$ 535.619 million(2013) [1]
  • Increase US$ 468.836 million(2012) [1]
  • Increase US$ 311.372 million(2013) [1]
  • Increase US$ 267.996 million (2012) [1]
Total assets
  • Increase US$ 3,882.797 million (2013) [2]
  • Increase US$ 3,546.738 million (2012) [1]
Total equity
  • Increase US$ 1,767.538 million (2013) [2]
  • Increase US$ 1,557.323 million (2012) [2]
Number of employees
23,200[3] (2017)
A Stericycle truck

Stericycle is a compliance company that specializes in collecting and disposing regulated substances, such as medical waste and sharps, pharmaceuticals, hazardous waste, and providing services for recalled and expired goods. It also provides related education and training services, and patient communication services. The company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, with many more bases of operation around the world, including toxic waste incinerators in Utah and North Carolina.

Stericycle has been harshly criticized by residents living near their incinerators and environmentalists across the globe.[4] Currently, Stericycle is being investigated by the state of Utah for burning hazardous, radioactive[5] waste above legal levels at their North Salt Lake location. The investigations also are in response to Stericycle's alleged falsification of records to hide the alleged illegal quantity burning near Foxboro Elementary in North Salt Lake.[6][7][8]

Stericycle, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, offers regulated waste management services, sharps disposal containers to reduce the risk of needlesticks, healthcare compliance services, pharmaceutical disposal, and regulated returns management services for expired or recalled products through incineration processes.

The company serves healthcare facilities such as hospitals, blood banks, pharmaceutical manufacturers,. Stericycle also serves myriad small businesses, which include outpatient clinics, medical and dental offices, abortion clinics, veterinary and animal hospitals, funeral homes, home healthcare agencies, body art studios, and long-term and sub-acute care facilities. Medical device manufacturers, consumer goods manufacturers, and retailers are also key customers.


Stericycle was founded in 1989 as a regulated medical waste company and became a publicly traded company in 1996.

In 1999, it began offering safety and compliance training services with the launch of its Stericycle Steri-Safe OSHA Compliance program.

It acquired Bio Systems in 2003. Today, Stericycle Sharps Management Service with Bio Systems containers is the US leader in reusable sharps container management service.[citation needed] The company’s pharmaceutical waste programs provide disposal of unused or expired wastes in hospitals, healthcare practices, and pharmacies. To help hospitals manage their waste streams and drive recycling efforts, Stericycle began to offer Stericycle Integrated Waste Stream Solutions in 2009.

In 2010, Stericycle began to include patient notification services with the acquisition of NotifyMD. Several other acquisitions followed, giving Stericycle an interest in telephone support services for physician offices.

In 2014, it acquired PSC Environmental Services LLC in a deal worth $275 million to form Stericycle Environmental Solutions.[9] This enabled expansion in hazardous waste management.

In 2015, it acquired Shred-it International in a deal worth $2.3 billion.[10]

The company’s international business began in 1997 with a joint venture in Mexico. Since then, Stericycle has created services, tools and resources for healthcare professionals not only in the United States and Mexico, but also in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Japan, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The company lost a contract to provide clinical waste services to GPs and pharmacies in Cumbria and north-east England in April 2017, when their competitor, Healthcare Environment Services put in a substantially cheaper offer, of £310,000, than theirs of £479,999. Stericycle then contrived a legal challenge against NHS England’s decision which was dismissed by the High Court of Justice in July 2018, and the company's behaviour severely criticised. Their commercial director Lindsay Dransfield was described as “a broadly unsatisfactory witness”. The company said it intended to appeal.[11]

Beyond services related to healthcare wastes, in some markets the company has expanded its offerings to include management of certain hazardous wastes as well as patient transport and medical courier services.


Handling of abortion remains and lawsuit[edit]

Stericycle serves abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, and has handled (and may still handle) their discarded fetuses. This aspect of Stericycle's business has generated controversy: 1) due to allegations of failure to obey the law regarding fetus disposal in at least one jurisdiction, 2) with pro-life groups that believe a fetus is a person, and 3) because Stericycle sued a pro-life group for disseminating information about its fetus disposal.

In 2011, Stericycle agreed to pay a fine of $34,090 in Texas to settle allegations that its practices in disposing of fetuses violated state regulations.[12]

As of 2017, Stericycle claims that they no longer handle fetus remains,[13] however an investigation in 2019 by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division provided evidence that fetus disposal may continue to be a part of Stericycle's business.[14]

Evidence of Stericycle's past disposal of fetus remains surfaced in a 2010 grand jury investigation into the abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, which detailed the fetus storage problems encountered by Gosnell's practice after he failed to pay his Stericycle bill.[15] An organization called the Campaign to Stop Stericycle, has compiled various evidence that Stericycle handles aborted remains.[16]

In March 2016, Stericycle sued a pro-life group, Created Equal, that was raising awareness of Stericycle's ties to the abortion industry. It alleged that the distribution of that information would hurt the company’s right to privacy and that Stericycle would “lose business, customer relationships, and customer goodwill”. In September 2016, a judge dismissed all charges.[17]

In 2019, another pro-life organization, Protest Planned Parenthood, called for a nationwide protest at Stericycle locations across the USA on May 22 to protest its handling of fetal remains. This was timed to coincide with Stericycle's annual meeting in Chicago.[18]

Environmental Concerns[edit]

Stericycle's medical waste incinerator located in North Salt Lake, Utah has been a topic of hot debate in the community. In September 2013, Erin Brockovich joined in with Utah residents in their call for Stericycle to discontinue their business in the area.[19][20] Brockovich's visit was spurred by a violation notice from the Utah Division of Air Quality to Stericycle for excessive emissions above legal limits, and manipulating their reporting to show lower amounts of Mercury, Dioxins, and other potentially harmful chemicals emitted through burning medical waste.[21][22]

The violations in 2013 were followed by criminal investigations at the order of Utah Governor Gary Herbert.[6][7] Investigations by California's Soil Water Air Protection Enterprise, or SWAPE, in connection with Ms. Brockovich, discovered Dioxin in homes near the incinerator at levels 16x higher than what is considered "safe".[23][24]

As of December 1, 2014, Stericycle and the Utah Division of Air Quality reached an agreement acknowledging no wrongdoing, though the settlement does require Stericycle to relocate approximately 40 miles to the west of the incinerator's current location in North Salt Lake. The settlement also calls for Stericycle to pay a $2.3 million fine, half of which is forgivable if the move happens within 3 years.[25][26]

As of October 2017, a $295 million settlement was reached on behalf of a nationwide class of Stericycle customers, following a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of engaging in a price-increasing scheme that automatically inflated customers' bills up to 18 percent biannually, according to a news release from Hagens Berman, the Chicago-based law firm that represented the class.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "STERICYCLE INC 2013 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. February 28, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "STERICYCLE INC 2014 Q1 Quarterly Report Form (10-Q)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. May 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "Stericycle". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2014-12-17. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Whistleblower claims radioactive material incinerated at Stericycle". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Story Details - Governor Gary Herbert". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b Smardon, Andrea. "Governor Orders Criminal Probe Into Alleged Misconduct at Stericycle Incinerator". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2014-12-17. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Services, Daily Herald News (23 April 2014). "Stericycle acquires PSC Environmental". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Stericycle to Buy Shred-It International for $2.3 Billion". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Stericycle sought to 'hurt NHS England'". Materials Recycling World. 31 July 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Enforcement Action Concerning Stericycle, Inc. RN102942885" (PDF). Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-05-08.
  13. ^ Gobba, Samantha (2017-08-14). "Stericycle cancels contracts with abortion centers". WORLD News Group. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  14. ^ Clark, Heather (February 14, 2019). "Medical Waste Giant Stericycle Burning Bodies of Aborted Babies in 'Modern-Day Auschwitz' Plant, Investigation Reveals". Christian News Network. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Grand Jury presentment for Kermit Gosnell" (PDF). Philadelphia District Attorney. pp. 32–33. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-26.
  16. ^ "Evidence". Campaign to Stop Stericycle.
  17. ^ "Judge Dismisses Stericycle's Lawsuit Against Pro-Life Group That Exposed Disposal of Aborted Babies". Christian News Network. October 3, 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Protest Stericycle May 22!". Protest Planned Parenthood. Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Erin Brockovich fires up Utah medical-waste incinerator foes". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Erin Brockovich joins environmental activists in fight against Utah incinerator -". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2014-12-16. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "A Toxic Technology? From Biological Hazards To Chemical Dangers". Huffington Post. September 12, 2013.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2014-12-16. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "The New Downwinders - Christopher M. Gauthiér". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Stericycle reaches settlement with state; clean air advocates object". 2 December 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  26. ^ O'Donoghue, Amy Joi (1 December 2014). "Proposed Stericycle settlement calls for $2.3 million fine, move to Tooele County". Retrieved 5 August 2018.

External links[edit]