Kirby Canyon Recycling and Disposal Facility

San Jose, California, United States

Certified Gold through 2022

Project Name
Project Type
Serpentine Grasslands
Bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha bayensis)
Education and Community Outreach
Awareness & Community Engagement
Federally Endangered Tiburon Paintbrush Conservation
Species of Concern
Kirby Canyon Conservation Trust
Land Conservation Agreements
Protect and Study Rare Plant Populations on WM Property
Other Species

About the Program

Waste Management's Kirby Canyon Recycling and Disposal Facility (KCRDF), located in Santa Clara County just south of San Jose, California, has engaged in native habitat conservation for over 20 years. Projects managed for serpentine grassland habitat and Bay checkerspot butterfly conservation are complemented with educational awareness programs and land conservation agreements.

Practices and Impacts

  • The grassland at KCRDF is a serpentine soil-based grassland community consisting of 378 acres managed through the use of cattle grazing and invasive species control. This habitat benefits the Bay checkerspot butterfly, a federally threatened species endemic to the San Francisco Bay region. While there are many plant species present in the grassland, those vital to the survival of the Bay checkerspot butterfly are targeted as management priorities. The grassland on site is part of over 3,800 acres of connected and protected serpentine grassland.
  • Habitat protection for the Bay checkerspot butterfly is coordinated through an agreement with the Kirby Canyon Conservation Trust. KCRDF manages 250 acres of land to maintain host and nectar plants used by the Bay checkerspot butterfly.
  • Annual Bay checkerspot butterfly population surveys conducted in the grassland habitat have provided over 20 years of data, revealing on-site population trends that inform greater regional data. These monitoring surveys demonstrate how important weather is to the number of butterflies present in a given year.
  • The wildlife team organizes an annual hike for site employees, family and friends to learn about the habitat and the native plants and animals that live there. Biologists or trained docents lead the employee event and give private group tours for community organizations.
  • The KCRDF site supports a population of Tiburon paintbrush plants, a federally endangered species endemic to the greater San Francisco Bay region. Through a partnership with Creekside Center for Earth Observation, approximately 40,000 Tiburon paintbrush seeds were planted in plots across the site in December of 2019 to bolster the existing population of approximately 1,900 plants. Creekside monitors and manages the plots to minimize the impact of non-native species on Tiburon paintbrush survival. This habitat is used as a study site for the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan.