Q&AZ: How much debris is demolition of Mesa's Fiesta Mall creating?

By Tori Gantz
Published: Monday, November 27, 2023 - 7:21am
Updated: Monday, November 27, 2023 - 8:51am

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Worker standing next to Mesa Fiesta Mall demolition debris
Tim Agne/KJZZ
A worker stands amid the debris from the demolition of Mesa’s Fiesta Mall on Aug. 31, 2023.

Mesa’s Fiesta Mall has been undergoing demolition since July.

Through KJZZ’s Q&AZ reporting project, a listener wanted to know how much debris the former mall is creating, and where it all ends up.

The short answer is about 4,000 truckloads.

The debris is shipped to landfills, and recycling and reclamation facilities. As the site is demolished, experts separate the materials using hand labor, and large and small equipment. This allows them to minimize airborne dust and maximize the amount of debris diverted from the landfill.

Mesa Fiesta Mall demolition flower sculpture
Tim Agne/KJZZ
A flower sculpture is still standing as a worker sprays water to control dust during demolition of Mesa’s Fiesta Mall on Aug. 31, 2023.

Heavy equipment operator Todd Evans and his son, of Dickens Quality Demolition, started working on the project about a month ago. Evans, who moved to the Valley from Show Low, said his job is to turn things back into dirt.

“Everything from the fence line in will be taken back to natural Earth material. Just dirt,” Evans said. “We are running 20-25 trucks per day from several different vendors, and we are running anywhere from 125-175 truckloads a day out of here — of inert material, trash material, scrap metal.”

A spokesperson for the property co-owner said there is no deadline to complete the project.

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