Every day when I drive to Milpitas, I never know what I'm going to smell. Sometimes it's fresh and clean and other times it's just plain bad. The city has a reputation for having bad odors and it's not a secret, a lot of people call it "Smellpitas". But, under the leadership of Mayor Rich Tran, that is about to change.
The Milpitas City Council, in a bold move, has approved a pilot program that will allocate a staggering $85,000 for the installation of state-of-the-art odor monitoring devices. These devices, to be mounted on city property such as buildings and light poles, will detect various organic compounds, gases, and chemicals in the air. The goal, to trace the source of the malodorous miasma that has plagued the city for decades. Is it the Newby Island Landfill? The San Jose Santa Clara Regional Wastewater facility? Or perhaps, a nearby recycling facility owned by Zanker? The question remains unanswered, but the hunt is on.
Mayor Tran has made it clear that his number one priority is the public's health and ensuring that residents are not breathing in hazardous materials or air pollution. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District will also be launching a year-long study in parallel with the city of Milpitas. In the past, the district has made progress in reducing odors by requiring some operations to be moved indoors and by installing giant air filters.
For some residents, the smell of Milpitas is synonymous with sewage: pervasive and unfortunate. But they believe this generation is different. They are not content to accept the status quo. They demand action, and they will not rest until the root of this problem is found and eradicated. The hunt is on, and the stakes have never been higher. Will we finally discover the source of the stench that has plagued our city for so long? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain: the winds of change are blowing in Milpitas.