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 landfills 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 limits of San Jose, California 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 km (3.15 mi).[2] It is located West of the City of Milpitas near Dixon Landing Road and Interstate 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 (138.4 ha) pile is currently permitted to operate until 2041 and may extend up to 245 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 landfill's own treatment plant. Electricity for the landfill is generated by burning the methane collected from the decomposition of the waste. Dried sewage sludge from the nearby San José–Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility is the material used as cover, mixed in with the trash, blending San Jose's waste streams. It is operated by Republic Services (Republic), 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.


The Newby Island landfill opened in 1938.[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, a 166-acre (67 ha) expansion was 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 resulted in some odor mitigation strategies, such as relocation of the composting area to the westernmost section of the landfill to reduce the odor impact.[8]

In 1999, BFI was sold to Allied Industries.

In 2007, a 95 feet (29 m) 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 short tons (100,000 kg) 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 (46 m). The capacity would increase from 50.8 million cubic yards (38.8 million cubic meters) to 65.9 million cubic yards (50.38 million cubic meters). 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, Republic Services settled a class-action lawsuit over the alleged landfill odor pollution. Republic will create a $1.2 million fund to be paid to households within a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) 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. Residents worried that the Milpitas City Council might allow whoever was awarded the collection contract to take the city's garbage to Newby Island drafted Measure L for the Nov 2016 ballot. Mipitas voters overwhelmingly supported sending the city's garbage to a different landfill owned by Waste Management, Kirby Canyon Landfill. Garden City Sanitation was selected as the new waste collector. This ended Republic's long contract with the City of Milpitas for both garbage collections and disposal.

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 (75 m)
Estimated closure date 2025 2041
Permitted disposal area 308 acres (125 ha) 298 acres (121 ha)
Permitted traffic volume Equivalent of 4,000 tons (3.63 million kg) per day 1,269 waste vehicles per day (does not include employees, visitors, vendors, regulatory personnel)


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  1. ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output a{background:url("//")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a,.mw-parser-output a{background:url("//")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a{background:url("//")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F} .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){ .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}"AIR QUALITY IMPACT ANALYSIS AND AIR TOXICS RISK ASSESSMENT FOR PROPOSED LANDFILL PROJECT NEWBY ISLAND SANITARY LANDFILL MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-01-08.
  2. ^ "Newby Island Landfill". Archived from the original on 22 March 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  3. ^ "The Center for Land Use Interpretation". Archived from the original on 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
  4. ^ a b c d "Permitting & Assistance Branch Staff Report" (PDF). January 30, 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2015-03-17.
  6. ^ "Republic services". Archived from the original on 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
  7. ^ "" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2015-01-08.
  8. ^ "RE: DEIR for the Newby Island Rezoning Project - PDC07-07l" (PDF). November 5, 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 4, 2016.
  9. ^ "Republic Services Opens World's Largest Material Recovery Facility - Bulk Handling Systems". Bulk Handling Systems. 2012-08-09. Archived from the original on 2018-10-13. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  10. ^ "Milpitas: San Jose planners allow Newby Island Landfill expansion". December 9, 2016. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  11. ^ "Milpitas: Judge finalizes settlement in class-action suit over alleged landfill odors – The Mercury News". Archived from the original on 2017-03-05. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  12. ^ "Peter Ng, et al. v. International Disposal Corp. of California, et al. - Liddle & Dubin, P.C." Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  13. ^ "SBOSG". Archived from the original on 2021-03-22. Retrieved 2017-03-05.

External links

  1. CalRecycle Page on the Newby Island Site: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct,.mw-parser-output .geo-inline-hidden{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}37°27′32″N 121°56′39″W / 37.458916°N 121.944038°W / 37.458916; -121.944038
  2. Republic Services site about Newby
  3. Milpitas Odor Information

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This site contains information on odor issues in Milpitas.