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Should Milpitas Award Contract to Newby / Republic Services / Allied Waste? Let the City Council Know

Dear Milpitas Residents,

Should the City of Milpitas award the next ten-year garbage collection contract to Newby Island Landfill?

During the bidding process, the city conducted a survey asking the residents many questions. However, no question ever touched on the sensitive “odor” and “public nuisance” issue that everyone in town is affected by.

In October 2016, the City Council of Milpitas will be presented of a recommendation for the next garbage collection contract from the city staff. The city staff believe that the majority of Milpitas residents are only willing to select the contract that has the lowest rate, regardless of any other considerations.

To help the city council assess the residents’ preference in choosing our next garbage collector, we ask that you fill out this survey, and answer the question that the city has never asked.

Please note, this garbage collection contract is not the disposal contract that Measure L is about. However, these two contracts are closely related. If Milpitas will NOT give ANY garbage contracts to Newby, then Newby will have a less chance to get its expansion approved.

Please let the city know how you feel about Newby and this garbage collection contract, by filling out this survey:

http://tinyurl.com/GarbageSurveyMilpitas

Thank you for helping make Milpitas a better city.

Milpitas REACH

Donate to Milpitas Citizens for Yes on L

You can donate by sending money to our paypal account  YesonLmilpitas@gmail.com OR click donate.
Contributions are not tax deductible.
We are fundraising for the ‘Yes On L’ campaign.  We have several activities we want to fund including yard signs, flyers, and mailers.  We need the money immediately to print our materials. We are asking for donations help us fund these activities.

 

Vote Yes on Measure L

 Vote Yes on Measure L! We have setup a dedicated website for the ‘Yes on L’ campaign. Please visit it http://YesOnL.vote.  Lower garbage rates and improve services, Vote Yes on L.
What is Measure L?
It is a Measure to allow the unanimous decision by the Milpitas City council to continue with its decision to use Waste Management’s landfill in South San Jose.

Who put Measure L on the ballot?
Surprisingly, it was Republic Services who put it on the ballot.

Why did they do that?
Because they lost out on the bid to get the business to use their landfill and want another chance at it.

Why is it that voting Yes on Measure L would deny them this chance?
They twisted the wording so that it would trick the voters to think that saying “Yes” would add something new.

How much did it cost Republic Services to put it on the ballot?
There’s no way of knowing the exact amount, but it is estimated to be around $10,000. This includes the $10 they paid the professional signature for each signature.

How much did it cost the City of Milpitas to put it on the ballot?
It cost the City of Milpitas $58,000

What will happen if Measure L does not pass?
The City of Milpitas will be forced to do another bid, which will cost them another $300,000

How much money is Republic Services putting into their campaign to fight against Measure L?
Public records show that they have spent $600,00 so far.

How much have supports of Measure L spent in support of Measure L?
All the money that is spent to support Measure L comes directly from individual citizens. So far they have spent less than $20,000.

How should I vote on Measure L?
To have lower garbage rates and improve services, Vote Yes on L.

How do I get more information on Measure L?
Go to our website at http://YesOnL.vote
You can donate by sending money to our paypal account  YesonLmilpitas@gmail.com OR click donate.
Contributions are not tax deductible.
Yes on L Fact Sheet
Yes on L Fact Sheet

The City of Milpitas also has published a fact sheet on the new disposal contract with WM.

 

Paid for by Milpitas Citizens for Yes on L, FPPC#1390888

Open Letter to Milpitas Candidates

Yes on L
Yes on L

September 7th, 2016

Dear Milpitas Candidates for Mayor and City Council,

Milpitas residents have been suffering under Republic Services’ Newby Island operations for decades. Our city does not benefit from disposal tax revenue as it sits on San Jose land, but we are negatively impacted as Newby Island uses our city address and pollutes our environment.

Newby Island has grown from a local dump into one of California’s largest waste management facility, attracting waste streams not only from the Bay Area, but also from cities as far as Elk Grove, Merced and Clovis. Newby Island is now the largest and last active landfill along San Francisco Bay. Instead of following its original closure plan at 150ft height, Newby Island has applied to expand its landfill to an unprecedented 245ft height and operate beyond 2041.

To make matters worse, Republic Services has a monopoly of Milpitas garbage contract for over 30 years. Milpitas residents pay the highest garbage rate in Santa Clara County for unlimited collections while we bear the burden of pollution. Regulatory violations continue to occur and Newby Island operations have now raked in over 30+ violations (including 11 for public nuisance violations) in the past 1.5 years. Over 5367 odor complaints logged to BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality Management District) and the City, which is 100 times above CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) guidelines for odor threshold. Republic Services have been ignoring our pleas to suspend its expansion plan until odor is abated. It continues to lobby for landfill expansion permits and new long-term disposal contracts.

We urge you to take the following public stance against Republic Services in support of the 23,000+ residents who have signed “Stop Newby Island Expansion” petition:

  1. Support Measure L because the City has done its due diligence in the entire Garbage Disposal/Collection process which was fair, competitive, and open. Voting YES on the Measure L would uphold the Milpitas City Council’s decision to award the disposal contract to Waste Management’s Guadalupe Landfill. Republic Services has held a 30-year monopoly of Milpitas garbage contracts. It did not submit a garbage disposal bid and now seeking to undermine the RFQ process costing the city an additional $58,000 to place this item on the ballot. Waste Management who won the disposal contract is the lowest qualifying bid and had demonstrated strong regulatory conformance with 50-years remaining landfill capacity.
  1. Oppose the Newby Island Landfill expansion. This is just bad idea with excess landfill capacity remaining in the county, so there is no need to expand Newby Island Landfill and bring more garbage into a densely populated and environmentally sensitive area. An expansion is also counterintuitive to state mandates on recycling, composting and source reduction.We have low confidence in Republic Services based on their track record. They spent $27 millions in odor measures at their Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Southern California, and violations persist. This is evidence that a full-proof odor mitigation technology does not exist. We are extremely frustrated because other states have denied permits and ordered landfill closure as in the case of the Tullytown landfill which has a similar scenario where one city has the permitting jurisdiction, another city downwind bears the odor impact. North San Jose, Milpitas, Fremont residents deserve equitable protection, especially since Newby’s odor has been an on-going problem for decades.
  1. Reject any campaign contribution by Republic Services. Republic Services works by deeply getting involved in local politics and preaching that they are not the dominant source of odor and is the only viable solution to Garbage Disposal and Collections services. We know from working with BAAQMD that their investigation has pinpointed Newby Island as the source for 90% of confirmed complaints in the area. The RFP process has shown that there are many many companies who would do business with Milpitas without causing pollution in our town.
  1. Apply pressure on Republic Services to cleanup their facility. We need to apply pressure to Republic Services at all level of government local, state, and federal. We have escalated the problem to all regulatory agencies. They’ve done their investigations and uncovered violations. Improvements were made, but odor problem is persisting. Regulatory violations continue to occur and Newby Island operations have now raked over 30+ violations (including 11 for public nuisance violations) in the past 1.5 years. Unfortunately, the regulatory agencies have no fixed timeline for compliance and not ready to push administrative or legal actions. Small fines is chump change to multi-billion waste management companies. Residents’ livelihood is compromised in the name of corporate profits.

We hope that you will commit to cleaning up the dire situation in Milpitas from the pollution caused by Republic Services’ Newby Island Resource Recovery Park.

Sincerely,

Milpitas REACH (Residents for Environment And Community Harmony)

“Our goal is to encourage residents’ dialogue and collaboration to eliminate man-made sources of odor polluting Milpitas. Through our collective efforts, Newby Island expansion permit appeal decision was deferred 8 times pending a new odor study. We need your help to win the battle. Let’s reach out and reach up together towards better environment & communities. “

http://milpitas-odor.info

Clean Air Rally Aug 27@9am-11am

“Clean Air” Rally – Aug 27 @ 9am-11am
Venue: 2 Ranch Dr, Milpitas, CA 95035
JOIN US to drive awareness to stop odor and stop Newby Island landfill expansion!

Rally Sign-up:
http://tinyurl.com/aug27rally

Rally Volunteer Sign-up:
https://www.volunteersignup.org/PLJF3

NOTE:
● Rally activities are limited to public sidewalk and pitstop shown in map. Do not litter, trespass or obstruct traffic.
● You’re encouraged to participate in Milpitas City Family Bike Event, which is FREE to the public, but not associated to Clean Air Rally. The bike trails offer an excellent recreational opportunity to see protected wildlife, wetlands and odor generation facilities in our community.

Clean Air Rally 2016

Governmental authorities

Please be reminded that this country is governed based on federalism and separation of powers between federal, state, local government and its respective executive, judicial and legislative branches. They can’t step over one another. Jurisdiction and constituency are not one and the same thing.
Congressman Honda is our federal-legislative representative, while Newby Island Landfill expansion is wholly under the decision making power of San Jose City Council (i.e. local-representative). SJ City Council unanimously approved Newby Island expansion project in 2012 (Environmental Impact Report and Rezoning). If you insists on finding an elected official to blame – try Kansen Chu as he was the SJ Councilman who motioned and voted for Newby Expansion (Ref: meeting minutes http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/17419). We should be putting more pressure on Kansen to get us out of this predicament he had put us into. FYI – Kansen is running for CA assembly re-election in November, so no reason for him to stay under the radar if he’s looking for votes.
Our state and federal legislative representatives do not have the jurisdiction to overturn San Jose City Council’s decision or change its municipal code. This is why Milpitas City spent our tax $$$$ to challenge City of SJ’s decision through local judicial system, but repeatedly lost the case. Even if we can get President Obama’s support, he does not have the jurisdiction to overturn SJ or the court decision. So, save your anguish. Understand the division of powers and what tangible actions can be taken by your elected representatives. There’s no use in asking Milpitas City Council or Congressman Honda to shutdown the landfill or stop the expansion when neither one has that jurisdiction.
The one thing holding back Newby Island expansion now is San Jose PD permit issuance. Collectively, we succeeded in stalling the permit by proving that Newby Island is a public nuisance and cannot be permitted under City of San Jose Municipal Code. When a few of us met with Congressman Honda’s staff several months back, his staff noted the following actions are within Honda’s means:
1. Follow up on US Fish and Wildlife participation in SBOSG
2. Escalate our concerns to BAAQMD, CalRecycle, CalEPA, US EPA  ===> AUGUST 5th 2016 meeting
3. Escalate our concerns to SJ Major Liccardo and CA Governor Brown
4. Federal legislative support – look into tightening regulations for odor nuisance and landfill operations
5. Federal funding for environmental protection
Regardless of your political preferences, I hope you recognizes the golden opportunity to get our concerns heard by CalRecycle and EPA this August 5th 2016. Make sure we show up in volume to ensure our governmental agencies take necessary actions to protect our environment, public health and safety.
L

Invitation to Meeting with the EPA, BAAQMD, and CA Dept. of Resources Recycling and Recovery

Date: Friday, August 5, 2016
Time: 5:30-7:30pm (Presentations start at 5:45pm)
Location: Milpitas Community Center, 457 E. Calaeras Blvd., Milpitas CA

Greetings,
On August 5, 2016, Congressman (Mike Honda) will convene a panel of experts from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to speak on improving waste management throughout the South Bay – why we need to do it, how to do it, and what state and federal resources are available to help cities, communities, and municipalities reach their goals.

What to expect at this free event

  • Hear about the federal and state resources that can help our cities and communities improve recycling and better manage our waste streams.
  • Share your questions, comments, and suggestions with Congressman Honda and participating agencies.

As community leaders on the local Newby Island odor issue the congressman thought this event would be of interest to you and values your input.  Please share this notice with your group and neighbors.

If you have questions, feel free to email me.

Warmly,
Cathryn Ming Hyde
Constituent Services Director
Congressman Mike Honda (CA17-Silicon Valley)

More details here: Mike Honda Aug5th Meeting Notice

Best of Milpitas 2016 Survey

Please take note – Milpitas Post Newspaper 2016 “Best of Milpitas” voting has begun and ends on July 29.

As you are aware, Republic Services were voted the “Most Community-Minded Company” every year by Milpitas Post readers since 2012, even when its Newby Island operations have been repeatedly cited by regulatory agencies for recurring violations, including public nuisance. This award is being heavily used in Republic Services PR campaigns to solicit new businesses as well as garner support from decision makers.

Please consider taking 5 minutes of your time to vote for better deserving companies at www.BestOfMilpitas.com

#110. Most Community Minded Company (Large Corporation)
#112. Most Eco-Minded Company
#202. Worst Happening of the Past Year

Cisco Systems may be a good option for #110 and #112 as they’re the #1 largest employer in Milpitas City and ranked as top 50 “Green” companies in the US. It received 2016 Climate Leadership Award from US EPA. Its 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility report shows that it spends $286 million for community programs globally and only 0.27% of returned products are ever sent to landfill, while its San Jose-Milpitas operations exceed >80% recycling rate. Cisco is a corporate sponsor for Milpitas local public schools.

http://www.newsweek.com/green-2015/top-green-companies-u.s.-2015

Letter from Mike Honda’s Staff

Hello everyone, 
I work for Congressman Mike Honda in his Washington DC office on Federal Environmental Policy. I also support his work as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, specifically in his role on the Energy and Water subcommittee. While I currently live and work in Washington DC, I grew up in Fremont, and am very familiar with the odor issue. 
 
My role in joining this group is to provide information to the group on Rep. Honda’s past and current actions relevant to this issue, and to provide insights on the Federal government, its agencies, and what it is capable of doing on this issue. I am also working closely with members of Rep. Honda’s district office staff: District Director, Lenine Umali, and Director of Constituent Services, Cathy Ming-Hyde.
 
Last week, I was in California and had a great meeting with some of the members of your group to learn more about your interactions with the governmental offices who should be leading the way in acting on this issue, since all of the primary decision makers are at either the state or local government, and I have reported to Rep. Honda about the meeting. 
 
I will now outline in detail, Rep. Honda’s relevant work on this issue. Briefly Summarized: 
1) Working to ensure federal agencies are aware and involved – Both the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency. 
2) Using his position as a leader on the Appropriations committee to allocate funds to the above agencies and to the Bureau of Reclamation. 
 
As a Member of Congress, Rep. Honda has authority to work with Federal Agencies. With respect to the odor issue, the two of relevance are the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which manages the nearby Wildlife Refuge and Salt Ponds, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 
 
Rep. Honda personally asked the Director of FWS to have his agency be involved in the odor discussion, and they joined the odor stakeholder group. Right now, Rep. Honda is working with the EPA to bring a workshop on their new ‘Managing Waste Streams Tool’ to the district in August. However, these agencies are limited in the action they can take on the odor issue. 
 
FWS only has authority over the wetlands and salt ponds, and while they allowed sensors to be placed on those lands, not much else can be done in their domain. The EPA regulates hazardous waste, but not municipal (household) waste, and while they do regulate air quality under the Clean Air Act, odors are not included. This is because when the Clean Air Act was drafted in the 70s there were (and still are) many factories or facilities across the country, particularly in the South, that create nuisance odors, and are vehemently opposed to such regulation.  
 
Today, the GOP has a supermajority in the House, and a majority in the Senate. This means that they essentially control all legislation that comes up for a vote. Every piece of environmental legislation that has come up in the House since they took control has focused on gutting the EPA, reducing environmental regulations, and allowing polluters to pollute more. Rep. Honda has consistently voted against these bad bills, and has been recognized for doing so and for his environmental leadership by the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, and Defenders of Wildlife. 
 
In Congress, Rep. Honda sits on the powerful Appropriations committee. While each of the 435 members of the House of Representatives can submit ‘requests’ for how to fund our federal programs, the 50 members of the Appropriations committee are the ones who actually make the decisions. Rep. Honda is the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science subcommittee, which funds science research and agencies like NASA and NOAA, and he is a senior member of the Energy and Water subcommittee, which funds the Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, and Bureau of Reclamation. 
 
It took Rep. Honda over a decade in Congress to gain the seniority necessary to be placed in these positions of influence.  With the GOP in the majority, and with their ban on earmarks, which used to direct funds to specific projects within a member’s district, positions of influence in the appropriations process are far more important than before. 
 
With regards to the odor issue, Rep. Honda has consistently requested and succeeded in increasing funding for the Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART and Title XVI program.  These programs support grants for improving water efficiency and recycling. Milpitas has already benefited from these programs, as this money was used to fund the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center(SVAWPC), which is on Zanker Road, close to the San Jose-Santa Clara Waste Water Treatment Facility.  The SVAWPC takes water that has been treated by the waste water facility, and brings it to near-distilled water purity.  
 
Rep. Honda will be working this year to further increase Title XVI funding so that the SVAWPC can undergo an upgrade to expand their capacity. However, I must note, that water recycling projects do not actually solve the problem of the ‘sludge’ collected from the primary water treatment process, they instead make treated water re-usable and re-drinkable. 
 
As a final note, my posts here are done in my official capacity as a member of Congressman Honda’s staff, and as such, I do not have any affiliation or contact with any campaign. 
 
Regards, 
 
Laurie Chong
 
— 
Laurie Chong, Ph.D.
Office of Congressman Mike Honda
1713 Longworth House Office Building 
Washington, DC 20515  

June 7th City Council Meeting (Garbage Disposal Contract on Agenda)

UPDATE:

Thanks to the people who showed up last night and spoke on behalf of the community! Last night, the Milpitas City Council unanimously voted to put the referendum on the Nov ballot.  This means that the Waste Management disposal contract is suspended (put on hold) until the voters cast their votes in Nov. As the City Council stated, they believe that the Disposal RFP (Request for Proposal) process is competitive, open and transparent.  However, with Republic Services having enough signatures for the referendum, their only option was to place the item on the ballot. This strategic move by Republic Services will cost taxpayers at least $53,000 for the item to be placed on the ballot, remember that initially Republic didn’t even participate in the RFP process for disposal contracts. Republic wanted to bundle both the disposal and collections services which would then lead to less competion for the collections contract since many collections providers do not have a disposal site.

We are still waiting for the exact text of the referendum that will be placed on the ballot before taking our next action. Of the two choices the city council had the alternative being to rescind the decision of awarding the contact to Waste Management, placing it on the ballot is a good decision by City Council.  Now it will be up to the voters and we will be trying to get our message out to them.

This move by Republic undermines the City of Milpitas competitive, open and transparent process for disposal & collections bidding process.  Republic is trying to maintain their 30 year monopoly over disposal & collections in Milpitas.

Read more in this Milpitas Post article.

You can watch last night’s city council meeting online at the link below:
[ the agenda item is #17, and it is the last item on the agenda, so jump to near the end of the video]
Tuesday, June 7th @7pm Milpitas City Hall

Milpitas City Council will decide on whether to rescind a resolution awarding Waste Management with the disposal contract OR place on the Nov ballot a referendum sponsored by Republic to overturn the resolution.

The entire bidding process was competitive, open and transparent. Republic decided NOT to submit a bid on the disposal contract and therefore lost the disposal contract. Now it is seeking to reverse the Milpitas City Council decision which will cost the City at least $53,000 to place this item on the ballot.

PLEASE ATTEND AND VOICE YOUR OPINIONS.

The following was pasted from the Meeting agenda…

ITEM 17 on the June 7th agenda:
Consider Action and Adopt a Resolution Calling for a Ballot Measure Following Receipt of Petition for Referendum on Award of Contract for Solid Waste Services to be Placed on the Ballot for the November 8, 2016 Election (Staff Contacts: Mary Lavelle, 408-586-3001 and Chris Diaz, 408-586-3050)

Background: Proponents filed a referendum petition with 3,777 voter signatures in the City Clerk’s office on April 14, 2016. The City Clerk certified to the City Council on May 17, 2016 that 2,541 signatures were found sufficient and that number was more than required to qualify June 7, 2016 Milpitas City Council Agenda Page 17 this matter to go on the next election ballot. The referendum seeks to overturn Resolution No. 8532 adopted by the City Council on March 15, 2016. The Resolution awarded a contract to one of two bidders, Waste Management Inc., for the City’s solid waste disposal services. Because the referendum petition was filed within the required 30 days timeframe, the contract award is currently suspended.
Two options are possible on this matter. If the City Council chose to rescind the resolution, then the matter would not go to the ballot. If the City Council adopts a resolution calling for the ballot measure to go onto the November election based on the voter petition, then Milpitas voters could vote to ratify the Council-adopted Resolution (maintaining the contract award) or not.

Based on the report received from the City Clerk on May 17, 2016, the City Council must take one of the following actions, per California Elections Code §9237:
a) Move to rescind Resolution No. 8532; or,
b) Adopt a Resolution calling for a Special Election for Milpitas voters to consider the referendum on Resolution No. 8532 to be consolidated with the municipal election scheduled
on November 8, 2016.

Fiscal Impact:
If the City Council calls for this measure to go on the ballot, the City of Milpitas will have to pay unbudgeted election costs of approximately $53,000 in FY 2016-17 in addition
to budgeted amount for the scheduled municipal election on November 8, 2016.

Recommendation:
Adopt a Resolution calling for a ballot measure following receipt of Petition for Referendum of Resolution No. 8532 awarding a contract for Solid Waste Disposal Services to Waste Management Inc. to be placed on the November 8, 2016 election ballot, consolidated with the scheduled municipal election on that date.