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Phoenix gets $1M federal grant to buy low-emissions garbage trucks

(Facebook Photo/City of Phoenix Public Works Department)

PHOENIX — Garbage collection in Phoenix is about to get more environmentally friendly.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the Phoenix Public Works Department with a $1 million Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant to help to replace its diesel-fueled trucks with lower-emissions vehicles, according to a press release.

The grant will be combined with $2.1 million in matching funds from the department and a private partner to purchase 10 trucks – nine for solid waste collection and one for long haul – that run on compressed natural gas.

“Vehicles are the number one producer of emissions in our city. These emissions degrade the Valley’s air quality and negatively impact our residents’ health and well-being,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in the release.

“Phoenix is working to mitigate the harmful effects of vehicle emissions by expanding our public transportation options and investing in alternative-fuel vehicles for city services.”

The Public Works Department started replacing its diesel-fueled waste collection trucks in a pilot program in 2010 and adopted a policy of only purchasing compressed natural gas-powered trucks in 2013.

Phoenix uses 250 trucks to pick up trash and recycling from approximately 400,000 households every week, the release said. The number of trucks running on natural gas is up to 135, and Public Works aims to increase that to 152 by the end of 2019.

“Through the DERA program and our private partner, Phoenix is making big strides in removing some of the least-efficient diesel-fueled vehicles and replacing them with lower-emission and electric vehicles,” Councilwoman Thelda Williams said in the release.

“In addition to cost efficiencies, this technology will deliver significant reductions in emissions resulting in cleaner air for our residents.”

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