April 22, 2021
On average, Americans produce 4.9 pounds of trash per person per day. That’s nearly 600 billion pounds of trash per year! The good news—methane gas from landfills can power cities.
Las Vegas produces more than five billion pounds of waste per year, which ends up at the Apex Landfill, 25 minutes outside the city. Apex is one of the largest landfills in North America at 1,900 acres or the size of 1,400 football fields. It runs 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
PBS Overview visited Apex Landfill to learn about the process. SWANA spoke with Jeremy Walters, Community Relations Manager for Republic Services about his experience with the episode.
Why was Apex Landfill chosen for filming?
Jeremy Walters (JW): Republic Services’ Apex Landfill was chosen as the preferred site for the PBS special “Overview” due to its unique operations, geography and massive scale. Apex Regional Landfill, which began operations in 1993, is the largest landfill in North America and serves the greater Las Vegas area.
What does the landfill mean to the surrounding community?
JW: The Apex Landfill offers the community safe, reliable and environmentally responsible disposal. Through our operations we capture and treat enough landfill gas to power nearly 11,000 homes in Southern Nevada through our LFGTE operations, further contributing to Nevada’s renewable energy goals.
What was the filming experience like for you?
JW: Filming this project was a fun way to showcase some of the unique operations, and sheer size of the landfill to viewers who otherwise would never see or know about what we do at our facility. We were very grateful that PBS took an interest and decided to help tell our story.
What do you hope people take away from the episode?
JW: To many members of the public, a landfill is a big hole in the ground where waste is dumped and buried, when in reality it is much more than that. We hope that through the Overview episode, people will see the level of engineering and environmental protections needed in order to build, maintain and operate a modern day landfill. We hope that viewers come away with a better appreciation and understanding of what it takes to run a landfill, especially one of this size.