The illegal dumping of trash and bulky items on Shawmut Avenue behind the New Bedford Regional Airport is not a new problem, but it's an ongoing problem for sure.
That stretch of roadway is heavily traveled during the day but can be dark and desolate at night. Conditions are perfect for someone looking to ditch an old couch, TV, or another large item that won't fit into a trash or recycling bin. Just pull up, toss your junk to the side of the road and take off. Chances are no one will see you (don't actually do this, though, it's wrong and it's illegal).
You might wonder why someone in New Bedford would go through the trouble of hauling their unwanted stuff out behind the airport when they can have it picked up for free in front of their home by ABC Disposal, Inc. as part of the Bulky Item Collection program.
There are rules, of course, and you must make an appointment, but it is free. You can also bring items to the Recycling Station at 1103 Shawmut Avenue, the former landfill.
The edge of Shawmut Avenue behind the airport is littered with discarded items, and an opening in the brush indicates a much larger problem behind the trees hidden from passersby. Trash and garbage are everywhere.
It is interesting to note that the Town of Dartmouth, just up the road and also under contract with ABC Disposal, does charge for bulky item pickup, and there are fees for most things brought to the town's transfer station. Perhaps people see that as an incentive to dump illegally?
Dartmouth also has "pay as you throw," which requires residents to purchase trash bags. New Bedford still collects trash at no charge to residents but "pay as you throw" is not far down the road.
When you think about it, dumping your garbage in public is pretty disgusting.
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