Newby Island Landfill

The Newby Island Landfill (NISL) is located next to Milpitas.  It is a major source of odor in Milpitas. Although Newby has a Milpitas address, Newby is located in San Jose and is a San Jose facility. As such, Milpitas has no jurisdiction over it.  All complaints to the San Jose LEA (Local Enforcement Agency) about the pollution caused by their Newby Island Landfill and composition operations have not resulted in any mitigation efforts.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has been investigating Milpitas odor complaints for decades. Their 2013-2015 records showed 90% of confirmed complaints are from Newby Island (Composting, Recyclery and Landfill). ZWED (anaerobic digester) and WPCP (aka Sewage Plant) accounts for the remaining 10%. No bay odor were confirmed in this area. Yes – BAAQMD investigates natural odor sources too – it has confirmed bay odor in Dumbarton Bridge area and a lake in Almaden San Jose.

Newby is seeking to expand its operation and push the closing date to 2041. The City of Milpitas has no control over this landfill since it is located in the City of San Jose.  However, Milpitas/Fremont/N. Sanjose gets 100% of the odor generated by this landfill. Click through our slidedeck on the expansion.  Read our executive summary on the Newby Island Landfill expansion and why it should be rejected. Also see the CalRecycle information page.

Newby Island has impacted the quality of life in Milpitas, Fremont and San Jose for decades. 23,000+ residents have signed the “Stop Newby Island Landfill Expansion” petition. In 2015, Newby received 19 regulatory violations (9 for public nuisance) and accounted for 90% of confirmed odor complaints. In the first 3 months of 2016, Newby received 4 regulatory violations and 800+ complaints were logged. Despite recurring violations and public objections, Republic Services continue to pursue Newby Island expansion to an unprecedented height, solicit new long term garbage contracts and deny any wrongdoing (class action settlement).

All the data we collected from BAAQMD points a majority of the odor complaints to the Newby Island Landfill & Recyclery.  Take a look at the following documents.

Here is a visual timeline:

Newby Timeline
Newby Timeline

Newby Island Landfill Wikipedia entry is copied below.

The Newby Island Landfill (NISL) is one of the largest active dumps on the shores of the San Francisco Bay. It is located in Santa Clara County, California in the United States. The site is located within the City of San José at the western terminus of Dixon Landing Road. The address is 1601 Dixon Landing Road, Milpitas. Although the address and public street access to the site are both in the City of Milpitas, the landfill property is entirely within the City of San Jose.[1] Newby Island Landfill has a length of 5.07 kilometers.[2] It is located West of the City of Milpitas near Dixion Landing Road and 880. It is the terminus for waste for all of San Jose(62%), Santa Clara(14%), Milpitas (10%), Cupertino (5%), Los Altos (2%) and other cities (7%). The 342 acre pile is still at least a few feet from its permitted height of 150 feet. The landfill is an island surrounded by a levee which keeps its runoff from directly entering the bay, and the water that drains from it is treated in the dump's own treatment plant. Electricity for the dump is generated by burning the methane collected from the decomposition of the waste. Dried sewage sludge from the nearby San Jose Treatment Plant is the material used as cover, mixed in with the trash, blending San Jose's waste streams. It is operated by Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI), which, along with Waste Management Incorporated, transports and disposes of most of the household trash in the United States.[3]

Materials that pass through the gate of NISL include waste that is disposed in the landfill; clean soil that is used for cover and for temporary roadways; construction and demolition (C&D) debris that is sorted, recycled, and processed for re-use both on-site and elsewhere; and materials that are used for alternative daily cover (ADC), which include but are not limited to biosolids, processed C&D debris, contaminated soil, green waste, and organic material from the on-site composting operations. In addition to C&D waste, bulky recyclables including appliances, tires, carpet, and cardboard are sent to NISL and either are recycled or diverted for beneficial use. Incoming organics received at the landfill are processed (i.e.,ground) and utilized as mulch for erosion control on-site and alternative daily cover or are sent off-site to be used as biofuel, for erosion control, or as a soil additive.[4]

The entire site is now called the Newby Island Resource Recovery Park.[5] The site includes both the Newby Island Landfill and the Recyclery.

History

The Newby Island landfill opened around 1930.[6] It operated as an open burning dump until 1956 when it became a landfill. In 1956, the San Jose Scavenger Company started the landfill operations.

In 1968, it was annexed into the city of San Jose as a non-conforming zone.[4]

In 1973, Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) of Northern California began operation of this site late in 1973.[7]

In 1981, 166 acres expansion approved making Newby Island Landfill the largest landfill in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 1994,composting operations started on the Newby site. Later a settlement agreement between the City of Milpitas, City of San Jose, Browning-Ferris Industries, and the International Disposal Company of California. This agreement resulted in some odor mitigation strategies which included relocation of the composting area to the western most section of the landfill to reduce the odor impact.[8]

In 1999, BFI was sold to Allied Industries.

In 2007, 95 feet height expansion was proposed and approved by San Jose in 2012.

In 2008, Allied Waste was acquired by Republic Services Group based in Florida.

In August 2012, Republic Services announced the Newby Island Resource Recovery Park located on the same site, the world’s largest recycling operation. It processes up to 110 tons per hour of multiple waste streams. The facility will process all of the commercial waste generated by businesses in San Jose. Newby Island houses the local hauling company, recyclery, composting facility and landfill.[9]

In 2014, Allied Waste submitted a permit to increase the capacity enough to hold 245 towering feet msl of trash from the current allowed height of 150 feet. The capacity would increase from 50.8 million cubic yards to 65.9 million cubic yards. The new closure date would be 2041.[4] Despite appeals and protests from the City of Milpitas and its citizens, the permit was approved by the San Jose Planning commission on December 7, 2016.[10]

In 2016, Newby Island Landfill settled a class-action lawsuit over alleged landfill odors. Newby Island Landfill's owner Republic Services will create a $1.2 million fund to be paid to households within a 1.5-mile radius from the landfill. In addition Republic agreed to provide $2 million to mitigate odors over the next five years. Odor mitigation will include updating the gas collection system and also modifying the composting operation to use forced air static piles.[11][12]

Also in 2016, Newby Island landfill started the South Bay Odor Stakeholders Group to bring together various agencies and facilities producing odor.[13] Although they are holding meetings, it is too early to see if they will be able to make a difference in the odor pollution issues in the area. Many agencies and facilities are refusing to attend the meeting. Also the group doesn't have any enforcement powers.

Also in 2016, the City of Milpitas decided against using Newby Island Landfill for solid waste disposal. Milpitas also decided not to select Republic Services (the owner of the Newby island facility) to do garbage collections. Republic objected and forced the City of Milpitas to put the disposal contract onto the Nov 2016 ballot as Measure L. However, Mipitas voters overwhelmingly supported sending the city's garbage to a different landfill owned by Waste Management which uses either the Guadalupe Landfill or Kirby Canyon Landfill. Garden City Sanitation was selected as the new waste collector which will utilize Sunnyvale's Smart Station for processing of garbage. This ended Republic's long contract with the City of Milpitas for both garbage collections and disposal.[14]

1997 permit Current permit (2014)[4]
Design capacity 50.8 million cubic yards 65.9 million cubic yards
Maximum elevation 150 feet above mean sea level 245 feet
Estimated closure date 2025 2041
Permitted disposal area 308 acres 298 acres
Permitted traffic volume Equivalent of 4,000 tons per day 1,269 waste vehicles per day (does not include employees, visitors, vendors, regulatory personnel)

References

External links

  1. CalRecycle Page on the Newby Island Site: Coordinates: 37°27′32″N 121°56′39″W / 37.458916°N 121.944038°W / 37.458916; -121.944038http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/SWFacilities/Directory/43-AN-0017/Detail/
  2. Republic Services site on Newby: http://www.republicservices.com/site/santa-clara-ca/en/pages/newby-island-resource-recovery-park.aspx
  3. Republic Services fact site on Newby: http://newbyislandfacts.com/
  4. Milpitas Odor Information: http://milpitas-odor.info/
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newby_Island_landfill

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This site contains information on odor issues in Milpitas.