Baykeeper Update

San Jose Paper Recycler Agrees to Keep Pollution Out of the Bay

In the 43rd victory for Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign, The Newark Group, Inc., a San Jose paper recycling facility, has agreed to prevent contaminated rainwater from running off its San Jose site and into San Francisco Bay.

The runoff from Newark’s recycling facility has been contaminated with high levels of pollutants that are harmful to underwater life. Rainwater running off the facility flows to a storm drain that empties into the Guadalupe River, which flows to San Francisco Bay.

The pollutants include high levels of total suspended solids­, a measure of small particles in water, including silt and industrial waste. This pollutant can cause loss of seaweed and other underwater plants, and harm or death to small sea creatures. Other pollutants from the site include heavy metals and chemical oxygen demand, a measure of organic matter in water, which can rob water of the oxygen that wildlife needs to survive.  

The company’s legally-binding agreement with Baykeeper requires the facility to cover inbound shredded paper, make specific improvements to its runoff filtration system, and keep the site cleaner. If these actions aren’t enough to stop the pollution, The Newark Group is required to implement additional controls to protect the Bay.

The Newark Group recycles all grades of paper and produces recycled paperboard. Recycling facilities like this one serve an important function by reducing waste in landfills. The company’s agreement with Baykeeper will ensure that it can fulfill this role without contaminating the Bay.

To partially make up for its past pollution, The Newark Group will provide funds to the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, to support other nonprofits’ projects that benefit San Francisco Bay.

Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign targets the widespread problem of heavily polluted, illegal storm water runoff that flows into San Francisco Bay from Bay Area industrial facilities. Twenty-six industrial facilities have already reduced their pollution to below EPA levels of concern or have completely stopped polluting as a result of this campaign. We will continue to work with The Newark Group and the other remaining 17 facilities to ensure that they keep pollution out of San Francisco Bay.