Why is Milpitas So Stinky? The City Will Spend $85,000 to Find Out.

For years, the people of Milpitas have been putting up with a foul odor, the origins of which remain unknown. The city has finally had enough. The City Council authorized an $85,000 pilot program this year dedicated to uncovering the source of the stink.

"They call it smelly, stinky. Whatever it is, I can't have it," mayor Rich Tran told KPIX. "I'm not here to point fingers. I'm here to make sure the number one priority is our public health and ensuring that there's no hazardous material or air pollution that the residents breathe every day."

Tran, who promised to investigate Milpitas’ mysterious odor problem during his campaign, says he wants to rule out any health hazards.

The investigation will include placing odor detectors on top of buildings and light poles. In addition to the city’s pilot program, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will be carrying out an investigation of its own.

Milpitas residents and others who have smelled the odor describe it as similar to trash or sewage. Possible sources include the Newby Island landfill, the San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility, or the Zanker Recycling Facility.


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