North Salt Lake mayor wants Stericycle to leave his city

Posted at 9:32 PM, Sep 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-27 23:32:38-04

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- Could Stericycle be leaving North Salt Lake? In an interview during FOX 13 News' Live at Four Friday afternoon, the mayor of North Salt Lake said he wants the medical waste facility to go, just like residents do.

Mayor Len Arave publicly admitted there probably isn't a good place for the medical waste facility in his city after all. He also said Stericycle may be willing to move. Residents said it's about time the mayor got on board.

"As the bypass issues have come forward, there's a lot of fears from our citizens," said mayor Arave in an interview during FOX 13 News Live at 4.

Less than 24 hours before a protest led by well-known environmentalist Erin Brockovich is scheduled to take place at Foxboro Elementary, North Salt Lake's mayor said it's probably time for Stericycle to move.

"As our city has developed, it's changed and it's not really a great place for a facility like Stericycle," he said.

Arave said the company told him informally they are on board with considering leaving North Salt Lake.

Andrew Jones lives in Foxboro, and he said he was glad to hear the mayor’s comments.

"I applaud that; I'm happy the mayor would come forth and say that," he said.

Foxboro resident Jennifer Rock agreed.

"I think it's about time that he's on our side, that he's going to help us and back us up," she said.

Residents are happy the mayor is now on their side, saying it was a struggle to get the city to hear them out at first. Mayor Arave was the CFO of Woodside Homes, the developer of Foxboro. Fox 13 asked him if that was a conflict of interest.

"It could have been,” he replied. “When I was on the planning commission I recused myself, which means I didn't participate in any conversations in any debate. I was very aware of the fact that there was a conflict of interest. I made sure to stay out of those conversations."

"We want them to do what's right," said Aaron Wiley, who will be attending Saturday afternoon's protest at Foxboro Elementary School.

For now, the city is hoping Stericycle is on board with leaving and setting up shop in Tooele or Emery counties. Wiley said ultimately that's not the real solution.

"The fact is Tooele is not good enough, we need Sterticycle to stop completely incinerating medical waste,” he said.