MESA, AZ - The City of Mesa, Ariz., plans to conduct a study to determine whether it’s feasible to incorporate vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) into the City’s solid waste fleet. The City has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to select a consultant to perform the study and move the project forward. At this time the bid period is closed and City staff are evaluating the bid submissions.

The solid waste fleet has a total of 63 vehicles and currently serves more than 117,000 households and businesses. The City’s overall fleet consists of more than 1,800 service, passenger, and utility vehicles.

“Natural gas is the bridge fuel to carry us over until an even cleaner fuel is discovered. CNG is domestic, it’s readily available and it will be great to have the Mesa solid waste fleet use it. This is also the first step toward offering CNG to consumers,” District 5 Councilmember Dina Higgins said.

One of the study’s goals is to identify potential locations for filling stations in the City’s natural gas distribution system that could not only serve Mesa’s solid waste fleet vehicles but also provide other local businesses with fuel. The City stated it owns and operates one of the largest public natural gas distribution systems in the U.S., and that its natural gas utility would supply fuel for the CNG solid waste vehicles. The City added that it’s performing the study as part of its fiscal responsibility to determine the costs and benefits of such a program before moving ahead.

“Our responsibility to Mesa businesses and residents is to continually review operations and provide uninterrupted service in a fiscally and environmentally responsible manner,” said Interim Director of Mesa’s Solid Waste Management Department Michael Comstock. “This study is being done as part of that responsibility.”