If there was ever an incentive to encourage proper recycling, it's free groceries.

Now through Dec. 22, 2023, New Bedford Recycling Center is giving away $50 Stop & Shop gift cards to lucky individuals participating in its food waste program. With the current price of groceries, it's a sweet deal.

The recycling center, 1103 Shawmut Ave., is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, noon to 5 p.m., as well as Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you have any unwanted food you can't eat or donate, the center is glad to take it off your hands.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

You can drop off expired unpackaged food, seafood shells, coffee grounds, vegetables, fruits, meat, chicken bones, eggshells and even dairy, but make sure it's wrapped in paper bags as the recycling center will not accept anything in plastic. Start collecting your unwanted food items in a proper compostable bag, bucket or pot, and bring them straight to the recycling center for your chance to win some free groceries.

Dropping off food waste doesn't guarantee you'll get the gift card but you'll be entered to win.

Items not eligible include canned food, cleaning chemicals, diapers, glass, pet waste, aluminum foil, plastic wraps, utensils, recycling, other trash or plastic bags.

What happens to the donated material? Once collected, the food waste is organized and taken to an anaerobic digester in Rhode Island. From there, the food can be generated into electricity, fuel and heat.

More information is available by contacting Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District at (508) 979-1493 or marissa@gnbrrmdistrict.org.

15 Items You Can't Throw Away in Massachusetts

Here are 15 items that you aren't allowed to throw in the "regular" trash here in Massachusetts. Recycling is preferred for most of these.

Gallery Credit: Michael Rock

12 Things You Should NEVER Recycle

While many people already know that recycling is good for the environment, they may actually be putting the wrong things in their recycling bins. Here are 12 items that most people think are recycled, but are usually just discarded into the trash at the transfer station.

Gallery Credit: Boris

Goodwill Stores in Massachusetts Will Not Accept These Items

There are plenty of items that Goodwill and other thrift stores will gladly accept, but here are 16 items they will definitely turn down.

Gallery Credit: Maddie Levine

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420