In First Year of New Service New Bedford Doubles Recycling Rate

Sees Dramatic Reduction in Trash Sent to Landfill


New Bedford, Massachusetts – Results are in from the first year of New Bedford’s new automated curbside collection system for trash and recyclables: The City doubled its recycling rate and reduced the amount of waste sent to the Crapo Hill Landfill by 30%.

New Bedford’s new collection program began in late June of 2014 and was designed and implemented to increase recycling citywide, reduce litter on city streets, and decrease the amount of solid waste sent to the landfill.

Under the system, residents and business owners place trash and recyclables curbside in uniform wheeled carts. The carts are emptied by ABC Disposal’s automated trucks which are equipped with mechanized arms and fueled by compressed natural gas.

Dramatic Reduction in Trash

According to a year’s worth of data reported to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection from July 2014 through June 2015, New Bedford collected 6,839 tons of recyclable materials, up from 3,516 collected during the same period (July 2013-June2014) before the new system was implemented. That translates to a 95% increase in New Bedford’s recycling rate.

From July 2014 through June 2015, New Bedford collected 25,626 tons of solid waste, down from 36,988 tons collected during that same period (July-June 2014) before the new system was implemented. That translates to a more than 30% decrease in the amount of trash sent to the Crapo Hill landfill.

“This is another example of how New Bedford residents continue to step up and do what is right to improve our neighborhoods, our city and the planet,” said Ken Blanchard, Director of the Department of Facilities and Fleet Management.

“This new system has been really well received by city residents, and I think these year-end results illustrate that,” said Marissa Perez-Dormitzer, District Recycling Coordinator, Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District.

Mayor Jon Mitchell applauded the news saying, “The recent switch to automated trash collection, which was long overdue, has improved the quality of life in our neighborhoods. We still have work to do for sure, but our sidewalks and streets are noticeably cleaner now, not only on collection day, but also on the day prior and on the days following trash pickup.”

Mitchell added, “The switch is also going to help us save money on landfill costs and help us preserve the environment. Automated collection is a great example of the modernizing of an existing city service that I want New Bedford to continue pursuing.”