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Milpitas, Calif., Selects Garden City Sanitation as its New Hauler

Milpitas, Calif., has selected Garden City Sanitation Inc. as its new hauler, replacing longtime collector Republic Services.

After putting off its decision for several months, Milpitas, Calif., has selected Garden City Sanitation Inc. as its new hauler, replacing longtime collector Republic Services.

Milpitas has had a host of municipal solid waste issues the past two years. Although the situation has improved of late.

After spiking earlier this year, odor complaints dropped to 93 in November. Only about one-third of those were directly attributed to garbage. Earlier this year, the city had received 500 complaints in a single month.

In addition, due to odor issues at the Newby Island Landfill, the city is contemplating where it should send its waste.

The town voted to dispose of the city's trash at Waste Management's Guadalupe Recycling and Disposal Facility in San Jose. But Republic Services of Santa Clara County gathered enough valid petition signatures to qualify a ballot measure asking Milpitas residents to rescind the city council's decision.

Milpitas hired a law firm back in February 2015 to potentially sue the operator of the Newby Island Landfill.  A few days later, Republic Services of Santa Clara County formed the South Bay Odor Coalition to diminish the impacts to surrounding cities.

At the same time, the San Jose Planning Commission continued to delay its decision regarding the proposed expansion. Milpitas, in March of last year, filed an appeal over the expansion plans and in April declared the landfill a public nuisance. (It was later denied.)

In May, another delay came until a study of the landfills odors could be completed.

Lastly, in December, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Peter Kirwan on Dec. 11 tentatively approved a settlement in a class action suit involving the landfill. The settlement was finalized in June.

The San Jose Mercury News has more:

Milpitas City Council voted 3-2 at a special meeting Monday, with Vice Mayor Carmen Montano and Councilwoman Debbie Indihar Giordano dissenting, to award the city’s solid waste collection contract to Santa Clara-based Garden City Sanitation Inc., with exclusive rights to collect construction debris. The council also voted unanimously to allow residents to opt for 20-gallon garbage cans, a new option for residents who use less garbage or who are hoping to create less garbage.

The vote, following hours of public comment in a packed city hall Council Chambers from speakers both in favor and against the city’s longtime garbage collector and disposer Republic Services, was cheered by residents, many of whom carried signs in support of Garden City.

Under the new contract, which will begin in September 2017, residents currently using their own garbage cans (about half the Milpitas’ residents according to city officials) will see their total garbage rate increase from $33.89 to $35.01, a 3.3 percent increase of $1.12. For residents who currently rent their garbage and recycling cans from Republic Services, the rate will go down from $37.07 to $35.11, a 5.8 percent decrease of $1.96.

Both Republic Services and Garden City would have provided the garbage cans (20-, 32-, 64- and 96-gallon) for free under the agreements negotiated through Walnut Creek-based HF&H Consultants. However, Garden City’s bins are split-cart, meaning one section is for organics and food material and the other for regular garbage that cannot be recycled.

Read the full story here.

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