Home / Announcements / New Automated Trash Collection System to begin in New Bedford July 2014
New Bedford ABC automated trash system

New Automated Trash Collection System to begin in New Bedford July 2014


New Bedford ABC automated trash system

UPDATE: Beginning on June 23, 2014 throughout New Bedford, ABC Disposal will collect solid waste and recycling in wheeled carts. The carts will be emptied by automated trucks with mechanized arms and fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). The program is designed to increase citywide recycling, reduce litter and decrease the amount of solid waste sent to the Crapo Hill landfill.

At a press conference earlier today, Mayor Jon Mitchell joined by members of the City’s negotiating team, announced the City had reached an agreement to enter into a new long-term contract with ABC Disposal Service for New Bedford’s solid waste collection and recycling services.

ABC Disposal, a large regional provider of collection services and a New Bedford-based family-owned company, will continue to provide curbside collection and disposal of solid waste services to residents and businesses for the new contract period beginning on October 1, 2013 and ending on June 30, 2023.

Mayor Mitchell praised the City team for their work, “This was a major undertaking for the City of New Bedford.  I asked our team to be tough but fair, and come back with a deal that put the needs of residents and the interests of taxpayers first.”  The Mayor added, “ABC Disposal, Mike Camara, and the Camara family, for their part, were very reasonable and accommodating in meeting the City’s demands, and I very much appreciate their partnership.  We all have an agreement of which we can be proud.”

new-bedford-trash-automated-cansUnder the new contract, neighborhood residents can expect the same collection schedule and the same quality and dependable approach to recycling and trash collection provided by ABC Disposal for the past several years.  The contract contains several service upgrades that will lead to an improved user experience, cleaner city streets, increased recycling, other environmental benefits, and a reduction in the cost to taxpayers of sending waste to the Crapo Hill landfill.

The trash collection schedule in residential areas will remain unchanged.  However, as of July 1, 2014, the City and ABC will switch to an automated collection system citywide.  With automated collection, a robotic arm swings out from the collection truck, lifts a specialized container, and dumps trash and recycling into the compactor bin. The system requires uniform carts with wheels that are specially designed to work with the truck and robotic arm.

City officials said the many benefits of the new system for the City of New Bedford made the decision to implement it a simple one.  The wheeled carts are easy to maneuver and come with closed lids designed to keep trash in and off the streets. Residents will be provided with a similar convenient wheeled cart for recyclables.  The new system will allow for “single stream recycling” or, all recyclable materials (cardboard, paper, plastic) may be deposited into one convenient container.  With the anticipated doubling of the City’s recycling rate, trash tonnage collected is expected to decrease significantly and estimates indicate the City could realize over $100,000 in landfill savings annually.

Prior to implementation of the automated system, ABC will distribute wheeled solid waste and recycling carts to properties in New Bedford with fewer than four units at no charge to the property owner.  Single family homes will receive one 65-gallon wheeled cart for recycling and one for solid waste.  Two family homes will receive one 95-gallon wheeled cart for recycling and one for solid waste.  Three family homes will receive two 95-gallon wheeled carts for recycling and two for solid waste.  Buildings with more than four units, that do not use their own private trash services, will also be provided with solid waste and recycling carts and will be charged a fee for the use of those carts.  Businesses will have the opportunity to pay a one-time fee for the use of one cart for solid waste provided that they also obtain a recycling cart of the same size for which a fee will be charged.  One time cart fees will be for the life of the cart.

ABC will provide the service in New Bedford using alternative fuel vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, a fuel source that burns cleaner than diesel, producing 22% fewer emissions, and 90% less particulates.

The Downtown Business District can expect more immediate improvements, including the following changes to its trash and recycling collection beginning on October 1, 2013.

  • Downtown trash will be collected 8-10 am Monday through Friday. (Presently downtown trash is collected in the evenings.)
  • Cardboard collection in the downtown will be conducted 8-10 am on Mondays. (Presently cardboard is collected on Mondays in the afternoon.)
  • Downtown curbside recycling (blue bins) will be collected on Thursdays from 8-10 am. (Presently the blue bins are collected on Thursdays after 9am.)
  • City paper route’s (included City buildings and schools) collection days will change for some customers.
  • The City and ABC will conduct extensive outreach to the downtown businesses and others regarding the changes to the collection schedule, including literature distribution and Cable Access programming.

The City of New Bedford will conduct outreach to the downtown businesses and others regarding the changes to the collection schedule that will affect them.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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  1. My family always has quite a bit of recycling- 2 blue bins, and a half a trash can of cans/bottles. Is there a way to get the 95 gallon can? Thanks.

  2. My question is, How is the robotic arm going to get in between a street filled with parked cars on both sides? That should be interesting, the picture above shows a clear way.

  3. way to go mayor…way to cut more jobs in new Bedford and send more people to the unemployment line

  4. The people rummaging for bottles, putting my bags on the ground are really going to make a mess trying to get to the bottom bag of goodes 🙁

  5. Yes, how will they reach the cans on streets that have only street parking? Unless the driver will wheel the can over to the arm. I’ve seen that done in other cities.
    Also what happens when there’s piles of snow by the curbside?

  6. As a taxpayer ,who has been recycling for years to keep the environment clean, what if the the 65 gallon is not big enough to hold the trash on certain occasion ..i.e. celebrations like Christmas time when one has an over abundance of trash….and it does not fit all in 65 gallon drum, what will happen to excess trash !

  7. Two family houses should get container’s for each floor. End of story. Can the landlord purchase additional containers for the two family units?

  8. Christina Katsules

    I just spoke with this program and disappointed that they gave me one barrel for garbage and spoke to a woman named June who explained to me that they do not give extra barrel if requested cause I’m a one family dwelling.
    I want the program to go forward but at what cost to the people .I don’t feel I should pay to have my garbage removed if I have more than a barrel full, or have to go out of my way to dispose of my garbage if I have more than 1 barrel full.Does anyone else feel this is unfair? I have family throughout the summer at my home on a daily basis at the pool ,so although it’s a single dwelling, there can be on a sunny day up to 20+ people enjoying New England at its best in my yard .If I am willing to purchase another barrel or request the larger one ,why should it not be approved .I see my neighbor who is elderly living alone in a 2 family with a huge barrel ,she won’t even need because she is with family constantly . Why wouldn’t they want to alter the choices by individual need to help prevent garbage dropped randomly throughout the city ? Working in Dartmouth at a retailer I see people of Dartmouth drop it in the parking lot to not have to purchase orange bags , this is a guarantee to happen for this city ,as it would happen anywhere else with restrictions, people try and wiggle away from cost or hassle. Does anyone know if there is anyway to be approved under any circumstances?

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