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Mesa garbage trucks catching on fire due to hazardous materials in trash

City officials said there have been six garbage truck fires in the last two months because people are throwing away hazardous materials in the trash.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 8:36 PM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Garbage trucks in Mesa are catching fire, creating dangerous conditions for truck drivers and the community. City officials said there have been six garbage truck fires in the last two months because people are throwing away hazardous materials in the trash.

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

Items like batteries, aerosol cans, pool chemicals and propane gas tanks should be dropped off at the Mesa Hazardous Materials Facility. Reyes said even if they are empty, those items can catch fire or explode. “They can still contain enough liquid material in them that when they are compacted in our garbage trucks, it can actually cause an explosion,” said Reyes.

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

As temperatures heat up, the city hopes to get the word out there to prevent future garbage truck fires from sparking up. “That causes a major disruption to our operation,” said Reyes. “We have two garbage trucks that will be out of service for up to a year.”