Food Waste Collection Program Begins for New Bedford, 100 FREE Starter Kits for Residents – New Bedford Guide

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There’s a better place for your banana peels, coffee grounds, meat, and moldy strawberries.

Your wasted food doesn’t have to go in the trash. Starting June 30, residents can drop off their food waste at the City of New Bedford Recycling Center at 1103 Shawmut Avenue.

Items you can drop off include all unpackaged foods, for example fruits, vegetables, peels, meat, bones, shells, eggshells, dairy products, breads, cereals, baked goods, tearing tea bags – no nylon, coffee grounds, coffee filters, napkins, and paper towels.

“About 21% of what residents throw away is food waste. This program will help residents reduce waste at home and keep food waste out of the Crapo Hill landfill,” said Jennifer Vieira, Acting Director of the City of New Bedford Facilities and Fleet Management Department.

The less added to the discharge, the longer it will last. When the landfill reaches its capacity, new options will have to be found to manage our waste. These options will most likely be more expensive than our local landfill’s current costs.


Photo by Marissa Perez-Dormitzer.

Starter Kits

To kick off the program, 100 free starter kits will be distributed to New Bedford residents while supplies last. Each kit includes a kitchen counter bin, a roll of compostable bags and a 5 gallon bucket to transport accepted waste to the recycling center.

Starter kits will be available starting June 30 at the Recycling Center, 1103 Shawmut Avenue. The recycling center is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The kits will also be available at the Facilities and Fleet Management Department, 294 Liberty Street. The office is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Here’s how to use your starter kit:

01. Find a place for your kitchen trash can. Cover it with a compostable bag.
02. Fill the kitchen bin with accepted materials (see below for details).
03. When the container is almost full, tie the compostable bag and place it in the 5 gallon bucket.
04. When the 5 gallon bucket is almost full, take it to the recycling center.

Don’t have a starter kit? You can put food in any container such as a bowl and cover it with a paper bag. Or not all line up. Any bucket will work for transporting food scraps to the recycling center.

Again, the items you can drop off include all unpackaged foods, for example fruits, vegetables, peels, meat, bones, shells, eggshells, dairy products, breads, cereals, baked goods, tea bags that tear – no nylon, coffee grounds, coffee filters, napkins and paper towels.

Items that are not accepted include cleaning chemicals, diapers, glass, pet waste, plastic bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, plates, cups, utensils, recycling, garbage and yard waste.

Recycling works

The recycling center has designated carts for food waste. The carts are emptied weekly by a partner company called Recycle Works and taken to an anaerobic digester in Rhode Island. In this process, bacteria break down food waste into biogas which can be used for heat, electricity or fuel, and a solid material called digestate which can be used as fertilizer or animal bedding. The recycling center is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, call the Greater New Bedford Regional Waste Management District at (508) 979-1493, or email [email protected]

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