South Bay Landfill Neighbors Protest Expansion

MILPITAS (KPIX 5) — Protesters gathered Sunday at the Newby Island Landfill on the San Jose-Milpitas border.

“The smell is just noxious,” landfill opponent Willie Frieson said.

Frieson says he’s lived nearby for nearly 40 years, and has seen the landfill grow, along with the overpowering odor that emanates from it.

“San Jose wants to expand this landfill. That’s not good. That’s good for our property values or for our kids,” Frieson said.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the landfill Sunday morning to protest plans to expand it beyond its current size and capacity.

“When the wind blows from the direction of the landfill, the smell is really, really bad. When the wind is blowing in the other direction, we have much cleaner air,” landfill opponent Yu Zheng said.

But, not everyone agrees that the landfill should shut down…

Jackie Salas, a former employee says neighbors knew the risk when they moved into the neighborhood.

“This has been here forever. It’s not the business’ fault that they’ve opted to build closer to the landfill. It’s just one of those things,” Salas said.

A spokesperson for Republic Services, which operates the landfill, says they have listened to the community’s concerns, but “ultimately, the landfill is a vital asset for the Bay Area, and its expansion will enable our community to address their needs for environmental services in the future.”

The Milpitas City Council has voted to end its contract with the landfill in November:

Measure l will give the rest of the city’s voters an opportunity to decide if they concur.

More from Devin Fehely

One Comment

  1. Glenn says:

    Thanks for posting this – it stinks there all the time, and the dump has caused too much pollution and hazardous conditions for way too long – it is time to close it. Most bay area communities have already closed their dumps, and everyone is so much happier with the improved air, water, and ground quality. Why do we need to continue to have this one remain open? Just because it was there for a long time is no reason to continue the operations there. Times have changed, and there are very good reasons why the others bay area dumps have closed, and all of those communities still have garbage services.

  2. Brian Kin says:

    Hmm, builders knew idiots would buy houses CLOSE to the landfill, so they built them. Landfill has been there for years and years, so this isn’t some shocking new surprise. EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT IT, so no crying now! Ohhh my property value! Was lower from the start, because of the landfill. Now you want it gone so you get a big increase for free, NOT!

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