NEW BEDFORD — In a letter today to ABC Disposal, the City of New Bedford put the company on notice that it is in violation of its contract with the City to collect residents’ trash and recycling, and threatened action unless the company complies.

The letter cites multiple contract violations including the improper rejection of recycling bins and failing to notify residents of the reason(s) for rejection; failing to promptly notify the Director of Facilities and Fleet management of rejections; refusing to respond to residents’ calls for assistance; and issuing an unauthorized press release and holding an unauthorized press conference – all of which are express violations of ABC’s contractual obligations to the City.

“ABC has unfairly targeted New Bedford residents and improperly rejected many recycling bins that should have been collected. Diligent residents have correctly sorted their recycling and still found their recycling rejected, and that is simply unacceptable,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. He added, “ABC is in direct violation of its contract with the City, and must come back into compliance immediately. I will continue to fight to protect taxpayers and ensure that ABC fulfills all its obligations so that residents can count on a reliable delivery of this important service.”

For nearly a year, ABC Disposal, Inc., has been demanding more money from the City of New Bedford. Although ABC entered into a contract with the City in which it agreed to collect the City’s solid waste and recyclables for a fixed monthly fee, ABC is now seeking additional payment because the contract has proved to be less profitable for it due to a change in the market for recyclables.

The City has not been unsympathetic to ABC’s situation and has said that it might consider modification of its contract with ABC, provided that ABC demonstrate to the City that the change in the market for recyclables is jeopardizing ABC’s viability, as opposed to merely decreasing its profitability. Despite repeated requests by the City, ABC has refused to provide the City with the necessary information about ABC’s overall financial situation.

In an effort to extract more money from the City, ABC this week adopted a new tactic: rejecting many residents’ recycling carts under the pretext of ineligible materials being included in the carts.

ABC’s actions this week have resulted in multiple violations of the contract. The City has demanded that ABC cease these violations, and put ABC on notice that if it fails to do so, ABC will be in default, and the City will exercise all of its legal rights.
City of New Bedford Office of the Mayor

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