Mesa Garbage Trucks Catch Fire From Hazardous Materials In Garbage

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Garbage trucks in Mesa catch fire, creating dangerous conditions for truckers and the community. City officials said there have been six garbage truck fires in the past two months because people were throwing hazardous materials in the trash.

“We want residents to know that hazardous materials should never go in a trash can or container,” said Mariano Reyes of Environmental Management and Sustainability for the City of Mesa.

Items such as batteries, spray cans, pool chemicals, and propane gas tanks should be dropped off at the Mesa Hazardous Materials facility. Reyes said that even if empty, these items can catch fire or explode. “They may still contain enough liquid material that when compacted in our garbage trucks, it could actually cause an explosion,” Reyes said.

The facility even has an “exchange store” where people can drop off used hazardous items like paint, cleaning supplies, and other chemicals that Mesa residents can pick up for free. The establishment is open Wednesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon. For a full list of items it accepts, Click here.

As temperatures warm, the city hopes to spread the word to prevent future garbage truck fires from starting. “This is causing a major disruption to our operations,” Reyes said. “We have two garbage trucks that will be out of service for up to a year.”

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