Construction of landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) facility has begun at Republic Services’ Apex Landfill in Las Vegas. The facility is slated to begin operating in late 2011.

Republic contracted with Energenic to design, build and operate the facility. NV Energy will purchase the electricity generated by the facility, which Republic estimates will capture between 60 to 90 percent of the methane generated by the landfill after the facility begins operating.

“Using landfill gas for electric power production provides an additional source of clean, domestically fueled energy production,” said Joe Burkel, a Republic Services area president, in a statement. “This is an invaluable opportunity to use the gas produced at the landfill for energy generation and further endorses our mission to reduce our carbon footprint as a company.”

“The groundbreaking is a win for clean energy,” said Frank DiCola, president of Energenic. “Landfill gas-to-energy technology is a crucial component to our clean energy future.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP), there are currently 518 LFGTE projects operating in the United States. The agency says these facilities generate enough electricity to power approximately 940,000 homes and heat roughly 722,000 homes each year.

The facilities also provide annual greenhouse reduction benefits that are the equivalent of removing 18 million passenger vehicles from the road, reducing oil consumption by 216 million barrels or planting 20 million acres of pine or fir forests.

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