Tacoma residents protest re-opening of controversial animal rendering plant
One of Tacoma’s most controversial buildings may soon be re-opening. Understandably, locals are not happy about it. Responding to this, community members have released an alert poster that reads: ‘Urgent action needed against re-opening of Darling International animal rendering plant. If Darling is allowed to re-open, it will adversely impact the health and quality of life of thousands of Tacomans. Help send the message that releasing putrid smells, water pollution, and industrial fires will no longer be tolerated in Tacoma!’
This facility was closed by a large fire in 2022 and has a long history of clashing with locals. The protest has been accompanied by a petition that could lead to the Port of Tacoma acting on the opportunity to deny Darling’s lease.
Although a necessity, the controversial practice of animal rendering, the process of converting animal carcasses into usable products, is often met with scrutiny when conducted in city areas. This stems from a multitude of concerns, primarily revolving around environmental impact, animal welfare, and potential health hazards.
On the environmental front, rendering facilities emit significant amounts of air pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM), which can impair respiratory health and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Wastewater from these plants, laden with organic matter, grease, and heavy metals, poses a threat to nearby waterways and drinking water sources if not adequately treated. Solid waste generated during the rendering process, such as bone meal, blood meal, and rendered fat, can harbor harmful pathogens and necessitate proper disposal to prevent environmental contamination.