We, the residents of Milpitas and Silicon Valley, request that the Milpitas City Council stop all business with Republic Services, the operator of the Newby Island Landfill and Recyclery, until Republic has proven that they can operate environmentally and without polluting the surrounding communities.
The Milpitas City Council must request that Republic Services do all the following three items in order to be considered for any garbage renewal contract:
1. Republic must withdraw the Newby Landfill Expansion Permit application and commit to closure of the Landfill operations by 2025. The expansion permit would allow Newby to continue operating until 2041 and increase the height of the landfill from 150 to 245 feet. An online change.org petition against this permit has received 17,641 online supporters and an additional 4,000 paper signatures.
2. Republic must eliminate the compositing operations from the facility. A majority of the odor affecting Milpitas comes from Newby’s operation, especially the composting operations.
3. Republic must provide heavily discounted garbage rates for Milpitas residents due to Republic’s pollution issues. When compared to other cities, current Milpitas residential rate is among the highest for small & medium bins.
The City of Milpitas has been using Republic Services for 30 years for garbage collection and dumping, helping Republic Services earn $13 million in 2014 alone. This contract is expiring in 2017 and the city is receiving bids for a new contract for the next 10+ years. We don’t want the City of Milpitas to do business with Republic until they accept all three conditions listed above.
In 2015, the City of Milpitas declared Newby Island Landfill a Public Nuisance. The Newby landfill has consistently been the cause of pollution to residents of Milpitas, Fremont, San Jose, and Silicon Valley. Operating since the 1930s, Newby is the last active landfill along the San Francisco Bay. Newby is causing air pollution in the form of consistent foul smelling odor which has been recorded by Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the City of Milpitas. Since November 2014, Newby has received 17 regulatory violations including 6 for public nuisance. Also 90% of BAAQMD’s confirmed odor reports have been traced to Newby. Newby also could potentially be causing groundwater contamination. The largest garbage dump (245 ft), combined with climate changes causing a rise of the sea levels or earthquakes may contribute to the levee system breaking and cause an environmental catastrophe. We as custodians of the environment must ensure that steps are taken now to facilitate the closure of this landfill so that future generations will not be suffering as we are suffering today.
We would like the City of Milpitas to lead in environmentally sustaining activities. However, currently Milpitas has the lowest landfill diversion (recycling, composting) rate. Many Bay Area cities exceed 80% diversion, and take initiatives to be at zero waste by 2020s. Germany and majority European countries average only 2 percent of waste going to landfill. Milpitas is trailing other Bay Area cities in landfill diversion.
Our neighboring cities have chosen these other companies for garbage collection and recycling services, and have had success in lowering rate as well as contributing to a better environment for their residents. If Republic cannot meet the conditions we outlined above, we urge the City of Milpitas look to these companies as alternatives. Some alternative companies, include but are not limited to, Waste Management, Recology, ACI Alameda County industries (ACI) and Green Waste. The selected company must not dump garbage into the Newby Island Landfill.
Silicon Valley Foundation for a Better Environment (SVFBE) is a nonprofit organization to advocate for a better environment and communities. Our first mission is to stop the pollution emanating from Newby. For more information on SVFBE, please visit http://svfbe.org. This petition is endorsed by SVFBE.
No contract renewal for Republic Services, a public nuisance!
Please note that the information entered on this form will be shared with SVFBE and the City of Milpitas for the purpose of eliminating the pollution issues caused by Republic and the Newby Island Landfill. Also SVFBE may use your contact information to update you on the status of this petition and related issues.