80% of Garbage is from Out-of-County!
Santa Clara and other counties use beautiful
San Benito as a cheap dump.
Zoom Virtual Community Forum 8/17, 7PM re John Smith Landfill Expansion
John Smith Landfill Expansion Plans
County Supervisors want to expand the John Smith Landfill by 5 times its current size.
John Smith Landfill is now 95 acres. After adding 388 acres, the landfill will total 483 acres.
The landfill will also grow 29 feet higher than is currently allowed. It will be 949 feet above sea level.
Amount of daily garbage buried at the landfill will grow from 1,000 tons to 2,300 tons (plus 575 tons of recyclables).
80% of garbage is currently from out-of-county (mostly from Santa Clara County, according to the County's Landfill FAQ #12).
After the landfill expansion, about 90% of the garbage will be from out-of-county.
The average charge for out-of-county garbage is $28/ton, but $45/ton for in-county garbage. (See the County's Landfill FAQ #14.)
John Smith Landfill would not need to be expanded by 5 times if it served mostly in-county residents & businesses.
Who Benefits from Expansion?
Rich counties like Santa Clara County want to use John Smith Landfill because their residents don't want new dumps built. They also save money by dumping at John Smith Landfill which charges much less than other landfills in our region ($28/ton vs. $91/ton at Kirby landfill in Morgan Hill).
Waste Connections, a publicly traded, $5 billion corporation, generates strong profits from John Smith Landfill, which they operate. Santa Clara County pays them handsomely to solve their waste problem. Waste Connections is the third largest solid waste company in the U.S. and has many landfills in other states and Canada.
Our County government receives fees from Waste Connections for allowing them to operate the landfill in San Benito County. (Read details here.)
Who Pays the Costs?
Residents living near John Smith Landfill will have to endure:
More truck traffic, noise, diesel pollution, and damage to local roads.
More air pollution from landfill emissions (methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide with bad smells).
Risk of groundwater contamination for domestic wells nearby. (Dumps often leak toxic chemicals over time. This is a bigger risk due to frequent earthquakes in the Hollister area.)
Lower property values, and difficulty selling properties closer to the landfill.
Loss of bucolic, natural landscape and habitat for wildlife.
Taxpayers will foot the bill for cleaning up John Smith Landfill if it leaks toxic chemicals in the future. (Waste Connections plans to transfer ownership of the landfill to the County when the landfill expansion is approved. This means that Waste Connections can maximized their profits in the future by passing all liability to the County and taxpayers.)
California Residents will endure the consequences of climate change contributed by methane gas from John Smith Landfill. California's landfills generate more methane (a potent greenhouse gas) than California's oil and gas industry. Read about it here and also here.
Are You Near the Landfill?
Take a look at the map below to see how close you live to an expanded John Smith Landfill.
What Can You Do?
Contact your San Benito County Supervisor and let them know your concerns. Visit the below link to find out who your supervisor is and their e-mail address: https://www.cosb.us/government/county-of-san-benito-board-of-supervisors-bos
You can also send an email to all County of San Benito Supervisors at firstname.lastname@example.org.