Clean Cities Success: Rio Rico Fire District
Our success story this week takes us to Southern Arizona, and an innovative alternative fuel effort by the fire fighters of the Rio Rico Fire District. The problem was what to do with leftover grease that migrates from a nearby river into the waste water treatment plant. The solution was a biodiesel processing unit that turns the grease into fuel for their fleet of fire trucks, ambulances, and water tender trucks. The Tucson Regional Clean Cities Coalition coordinated the efforts of local, state and federal agencies to make this first of its kind project possible. The pure biodiesel is blended to B20, and stored in a 500 gallon tank. With almost 90 percent of their fleet using biodiesel, the Rio Rico Fire District is saving thousands of dollars a year.
MARK GERBERT: I think we figured out, somewhere it’s costing between eight and ten thousand dollars a year, which is a substantial step for us.
JOHN DAVIS: As Rio Rico is only a few miles from Mexico, a similar biodiesel unit has setup by fire fighters there, in a bi-national effort to turn waste into renewable green fuel, for both sides of the border.