An Important Step to Cleaning Up the Landfill

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Please don’t allow Republic’s Newby Island Landfill to continue to pollute our beautiful city for the next 20+ year. Let’s work together to send a strong message to both the Milpitas City Council and Republic services that change is needed. Help us take action by spreading the word about the current petition drive and emailing the elected officials listed below with your comments.

As you have noticed, the last few weeks have been extremely horrible in terms of odor.  At a recent meeting, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) confirmed that bio-solid waste is being moved from the sewage treatment plant into Newby, causing massive odor reports.

Who will be selected as the waste collector for Milpitas for the next 20+ years? The deadline for bids has just passed, and the reviews and subsequent voting by the city council members are set in December.

San Francisco Bay has been home to a number of landfills, all of which have been closed. The Newby Island Landfill in our backyard is the largest and last one remaining. Long-time Bay Area residents can recall, even when the other landfills were operating, none emitted odor as offensive as that from Newby. The odor was so bad that Milpitas was known as “Smell Pitas”. Yet, Newby Island has been repeatedly allowed to expand its operations. Currently, according from the data from BAAQMD, it accounts for 90% of confirmed odor complaints in Milpitas.

Why did this happen? Why was it allowed to stink for so long, even till today? Sure, the City of San Jose LEA did not effectively enforce environmental compliance. Sure, Newby landfill’s operator spent more money on public relations and donations to decision makers than on proper measures to contain odor and pollution. Sure, the decision makers were sponsored by Republic Services and made decisions in their favor. However, these decision makers are publicly elected officials. Ultimately, it was the public that collectively decided it was OK to live with the odor, and it was OK to live with the name “Smell Pitas”.

Today, Milpitas is by all measures an integral part of Silicon Valley. The city’s attractive location and top-notch city planning have put Milpitas on the national list of fastest growing cities. Milpitas also made the list of best in California for families.

There is no way we will tolerate an expansion of the Newby landfill. The City of Milpitas has made strides in fighting the Newby landfill. Earlier this year, it officially declared the landfill a Public Nuisance. It is only common sense that the residents refuse to pay to have their garbage sent to Newby, unless they withdraw the application to expand and clean up their act.

The council members have received letters supporting Republic Services to be awarded the contract for next 20+ years. Do you think doing so would help to stop the Newby expansion? We think the city should at least put them on leash by adding conditions to the contract.

We have gathered over 1,000 signers for the current petition. More of us need to be heard to make a real impact. We ask you to do the following:

  1. Spread the word, and get more folks to sign the petition www.tinyurl.com/newbypetition

  2. Write to Milpitas council members about your view on the imminent evaluation and decision on the next garbage hauler contract. The council members’ email addresses are:

Major Jose Esteves – jesteves@ci.milpitas.ca.gov
Vice Mayor Carmen Montano – cmontano@ci.milpitas.ca.gov
Councilmember Debbie Indihar Giordano – dgiordano@ci.milpitas.ca.gov
Councilmember Garry Barbadillo – gbarbadillo@ci.milpitas.ca.gov
Councilmember Marsha Grilli – mgrilli@ci.milpitas.ca.gov
Public Information Specialist Leslie Stobbe – lesliestobbe@ci.milpitas.ca.gov

If you email to the above officials and staff, please feel free to copy this comma separated list and paste to your recipient field:
jesteves@ci.milpitas.ca.gov, cmontano@ci.milpitas.ca.gov, dgiordano@ci.milpitas.ca.gov, gbarbadillo@ci.milpitas.ca.gov, mgrilli@ci.milpitas.ca.gov, lesliestobbe@ci.milpitas.ca.gov

Please CC to city clerk pcaronongan@ci.milpitas.ca.gov so it goes on public record.
You can also fwd or bcc us, so we have a copy of your email milpitas-odor-info@googlegroups.com

There is much more to be examined by the citizens. Is this city really the best place to raise a family? When you leave your children at the local school, do you realize that students will be breathing chemicals that may damage their neural system, and the school would do nothing about it? Some kids and adults in the city can no longer sense the smell that come from the dump. Where do the elected school board members stand on the odor reporting issue? Where do the elected council members stand on the landfill issue? Do you really trust them to make decision that have your best interest in mind? Only public comments and feedback can help steer the city council to making the right decisions. So let’s get involved and help make the city a better place to live, work and visit.

Together, let’s change our neighborhood. Join our discussion mailing list by sending an email to milpitas-odor-info+subscribe@googlegroups.com. Everyone is welcomed.

Milpitas Odor Info
milpitas-odor-info@googlegroups.com
http://milpitas-odor.info

One thought on “An Important Step to Cleaning Up the Landfill”

  1. Thanks for pointing out that landfills, when not properly maintained, can make the neighboring cities smell awful. You also mention that it’s a bad idea to expand landfills so that they take up more room, therefore creating more odors in the city. I think it’s a good idea to have companies that can treat landfills so that they can become as environmentally “neutral” as possible, and not contaminate the local soils and waterways.

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