The City of New Bedford is offering new programs to help businesses reduce their waste. In one program, businesses will be recognized for recycling properly. In another program, restaurants can take further steps to reduce waste by moving from disposable food service ware to reusable options. “These new programs will encourage businesses to do their part to reduce waste and help the City move toward the waste reduction goals in NB Resilient, the City’s climate action and resiliency plan,” said Jennifer Vieira, Director of Facilities and Fleet Management. 

ReThink Disposable 

The City is partnering with Clean Water Fund’s ReThink Disposable program to encourage restaurants to reduce their use of single use food service ware for onsite dining such as utensils, plates, cups, and sauce cups. ReThink Disposable is offering a stipend to restaurants that switch to reusable items. Their staff will visit restaurants in New Bedford in the coming months. 

The one-time stipend that is offered to restaurants is $300. For any restaurant with a minority, LGBTQ+, or woman owner, the stipend increases to $600. According to ReThink Disposable, restaurants that make the switch see annual savings usually between $3,000-$20,000. “It is important for us all to do our part in waste reduction for future generations and this program can help local businesses take this step. Reusables are safe to use as long as restaurants follow standard health and safety guidelines,” said Stephanie Sloan, Director of the Health Department. 

Our Business Recycles 

Does your business recycle everything it can? Earn an “Our Business Recycles!” window cling to show customers you are doing your part to reduce waste. To earn the window cling, each business must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be a business located in New Bedford. 
  • Have recycling containers with fewer than 3 contaminants. Contaminants include all items other than bottles, cans, jugs, jars, paper, and cardboard, as listed on this flyer: 
  • Have waste baskets with fewer than 3 recyclable items. 
  • Have a way to recycle cardboard. This could be by participating in the City’s business cardboard collection program, having a properly used cardboard dumpster, or by being able to fit the cardboard in your recycling cart(s). 

In October and November, staff from the City of New Bedford and the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District will partner with students from UMass Dartmouth to visit businesses, starting with downtown. Though, you don’t need to wait for our visit. If you think your business deserves recognition, contact us and we will visit to verify the requirements are met. You may be featured on New Bedford Recycling’s social media pages with your window cling. 

Elissa Paquette, President, dNB Inc. said, “dNB Inc. is excited about the recycling incentives that the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District and the City are offering businesses, as we look forward to keeping downtown environmentally conscious!” 

If your business is not currently eligible, you can: 

  • Increase recycling – Arrange private collection through your hauler or participate in the City’s program to recycle bottles, cans, jugs, jars, paper, and cardboard. 
  • Ensure cardboard gets recycled – Arrange private collection through your hauler or participate in the City’s program. Small to medium size New Bedford businesses can join the City’s cardboard recycling program for free. 
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