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 food waste at the City of New Bedford’s Recycling Center at 1103 Shawmut Avenue.
Items you can drop off include all unpackaged food e.g., fruits, vegetables, peels, meat, bones, shells, eggshells, dairy, breads, grains, baked goods, tea bags that tear – no nylon, coffee grounds, coffee filters, napkins, and paper towels.
“About 21% of what residents dispose of 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, City of New Bedford Department of Facilities and Fleet Management.
The less that is added to the landfill, the longer it will last. When the landfill reaches capacity, new options will need to be found for managing our waste. These options will very likely be more expensive than the current costs at our local landfill.
Photo by Marissa Perez-Dormitzer.
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, roll of compostable bags, and a 5-gallon bucket for transporting the 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, noon to 5 pm and Saturday 7:30 am to 3:00 p.m. The kits will also be available at the Department of Facilities and Fleet Management, 294 Liberty Street. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Here’s how to use your starter kit:
01. Find a spot for your kitchen bin. Line 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 off the compostable bag and place it into 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 line it with a paper bag. Or don’t line it all. Any bucket will work to transport the food waste to the Recycling Center.
Again, items you can drop off include all unpackaged food e.g., fruits, vegetables, peels, meat, bones, shells, eggshells, dairy, breads, grains, 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, trash, and yard waste.
The Recycling Center has carts designated for food waste. The carts are emptied weekly by a partnering company called Recycle Works and brought to an anaerobic digester in Rhode Island. In this process, bacteria break down the food waste into biogas that can be used for heat, electricity, or fuel, and a solid material called digestate that can be used for fertilizer or animal bedding. The Recycling Center is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, noon to 5 pm and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For more information, call the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District at (508) 979-1493, or email Marissa@gnbrrmdistrict.org.