Lesser known facts about the largest landfills in the world
Updated: Jul 13
1) Apex Regional, Las Vegas, United States
Size: 2,200 acres
The Apex landfill holds 50 million tons of waste and has a projected lifespan of up to 250 years. This landfill site receives nearly 300 tons of garbage every hour.
The Good side: Apex landfill has an on-site gas-to-energy facility that generates 11 megawatts of renewable electricity which can power 6,000 homes.
2) Bordo Poniente Landfill, Mexico City, Mexico
Size: 914 acres
Until its closure of the landfill in 2011, Bordo Poniente in Mexico was one of the world's largest open-air landfills receiving more than 12,000 tons of waste every day.
The Good side: Back then, a power company called BMLMX had signed a contract with the Mexican government to utilize the biogas from the landfill site to generate electric power that can light up the streets of Mexico for the next 25 years.
3) Laogang, Shanghai, China
Size: 830 acres
The Laogang landfill site is situated about 60km from the city centre of Shanghai and is the biggest landfill site in Asia.
Annually, China generates 189,000,000 tons of waste, and Laogang landfill alone receives more than 36,50,000 tons of municipal waste, i.e., 5% of the total combined waste.
The Good side: Methane gas from the Laogang landfill site generates more than 1,00,000 MW hours of green energy annually that powers more than 1,00,000 homes.
4) Puente Hills, Los Angeles, United States
Size: 700 acres
This garbage mountain stands tall at 500 feet (about the height of a 40-storey building) and covers 700 acres. Puente Hills holds more than 4 million tons of waste. After 30 years of operation, the permit of the landfill was terminated in 2013.
The Good side: The Puente Hills landfill gained good media attention on TV shows such MegaStructures for all the right reasons. This landfill not only generates electric power from the landfill gas but serves the tourists as well. The site is an attraction and welcomes tourists to visit for recreational, educational, and cultural purposes.
5) Malagrotta, Rome, Italy
Size: 630 acres
Once the largest landfill in Europe, Malagrotta landfill was closed on 31 December 2012 after failing to meet the EU standards.
The Bad side: Since its shut down, Rome authorities have been
struggling with waste disposal. Without proper waste collection and processing in the city, health issues are soaring with the infiltration of insects and rodents, especially for the buildings close to streets where garbage piles up for days.
In most developing countries, 60 to 70% of waste management funds are spent on waste transportation and less than 20% of garbage is recycled.
The major issue is that loose waste occupies much more space than its actual volume, and has an impact on waste transportation as well as landfill.
On the other hand, compacted garbage dumped into landfills generates lesser GHG emissions. With garbage volume reduction 6-10 times, RecycloBin reduces garbage trucks trips by 75%, saving GHG emissions from fuel combustion and landfill emissions.