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Sunrise Landfill secure against future flooding after massive project

Sunrise Landfill secure against future flooding after massive project

By Molly Waldron. CREATED Feb 5, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It took almost 15 years and a lot of money, but now the Sunrise Landfill is secure.

Construction just wrapped up on the 440-acre property to make sure millions of tons of trash stays put.

It doesn't look like much -- a big hill sitting way east of town -- but the pile of dirt has some history.

The landfill contains 40 years worth of trash. 18 million cubic yards of trash accumulated from 1953 to 1993. But instead of staying under all that dirt, trash made its way to the surface 15 years ago.

In 1998 a major storm washed away the entire southeast corner of the landfill, sending 100 thousand cubic yards of waste into the Las Vegas Wash and water supply.

In cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Land Management, Republic Services made sure this old trash remains a thing of the past.

"It's a very very slim possibility that will ever happen again," said Steve Wall with the EPA.

After years of research, engineers put in place new erosion and storm water controls.

"This landfill will at least handle the same intense storm that happened back in 1998 without any erosion or damage to the site," said Todd Whittle with Republic Services.

A new dam was built to withstand storms. They've also implemented landfill gas and groundwater monitoring systems.

You wouldn't even know the landfill was there today.

Neighbors nearby say they can't smell a thing.

The Sunrise Landfill remains closed, but will now be maintained by Republic Services.