South Bay Landfill Prompting 30 Complaints Daily; Neighbors Say Smell Getting Worse

MILPITAS (CBS SF) — A landfill may be responsible for a stench plaguing residents in the South Bay that has prompted dozens of air quality complaints on a daily basis.

Milpitas residents have long complained about the stench they say comes from the Newby Island landfill, but Manjari Dani says this winter it’s been worse than ever.

“It smells like rotten stuff, like rotten kitchen stuff,” Dani said.

Dani lives less than two miles from the landfill, but in the last month, the smelly air has drifted into places that have never complained before, like the Alum Rock Foothills in San Jose over ten miles away.

“It seems like maybe even harsher than a manure smell, early in the morning like when the fog and mist is out.  It is noticeable when you are walking and running out here.  Probably not healthy,” Alum Rock resident Carlos Flores said.

Other neighbors say it smells like overcooked compost, and may be the product of December’s rain, and January’s sunshine.

The landfill’s parent company Republic Services denied any responsibility for the smell, saying that there are multiple sources of air emissions in that area, and that it uses advanced odor management technology.

But, air quality officials say the landfill has been the target of an unusually high number of complaints.

“We’ve had roughly 600 complaints since the start of this year,” Bay Area Air Quality Management District Spokesman Walter Wallace said.

Neighbors were organizing a social media campaign against s proposed expansion of Newby Island.  The San Jose Planning Commission will take up the expansion proposal in February.

More from Len Ramirez
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