Residents of the west-side neighborhood where a tire recycler has set up shop griped about the business at a public meeting Wednesday night and said they want the operation to relocate.
"His fence is down. Kick him out," said one resident, after demanding city and county officials "do something" about the neighbors' concerns."We get the tire shredder; the east side gets the (speed-skating) oval," complained Salt Lake Councilman L. Wayne Horrocks, who represents the neighborhood.
John Galanis' business, Ecology Recovery Systems, is one of the few - if not the only - tire recyclers in the state. Though his business permit allows him to stockpile only 1,500 tires at a time, more than 100,000 tires are stacked in his yard at 985 S. 800 West because he's waiting for the state subsidy that will enable him to recycle the tires as fast as they come in.
The Salt Lake County Health Department has told Galanis he can't take any more tires. For now, he's shredding the tires he has and taking them to a private landfill.
Residents attending the meeting suggested that city and county officials should contact the owner of the property, ask him not to renew Galanis' lease and offer to help find a new tenant.
The residents also requested the county enforce compliance with health regulations, asked for a study of other tire recyclers in different states and said they would meet with Galanis to discuss the neighborhood's concerns.
One resident, however, said he thought people who are concerned about the recycler's effects on the neighborhood should visit the facility, as he had done.
"Frankly," said Paul Hutchison, "I had difficulty finding the place because I expected to see some tires."
He couldn't see them because the property was fenced and clean, he said.
Rep. Joanne Milner, D-Salt Lake, organized Wednesday's meeting. Along with many of those who testified, she said she had no quarrel with Galanis himself. Rather, she said, county officials "didn't exercise good judgment" when they allowed the business to locate so near residences.
"The grievance I have is (the business') location," she said.
But county officials noted that Galanis had every legal right to set up his business under the neighborhood's zoning, which has since been changed.
Horrocks said he suspected the business was allowed to locate on the west side because the area is considered politically apathetic, especially in comparison with the east side.