Parallel Products' planned expansion at the New Bedford Business Park was brought a bit more into focus last week and while some concerns have been alleviated, some new ones have arisen.

Fears that Parallel might be proposing a waste dump at the park were put to rest by Vice President Tim Cusson, as was a report that Parallel was looking to process food waste at the facility. Cusson does confirm that the company does want to process biosolids, the by-product from treating sewer sludge, as well as solid waste.

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

The operation could see an increase in truck traffic at the Business Park as biosolids and solid waste would be sought from throughout the region. That traffic, however, would be restricted to routes already in use for existing trash disposal and would not involve neighborhoods.

Parallel says its current operation employs 100 people and the expansion could create as many new jobs.

Parallel Products must obtain several permits from the state before it can proceed with its expansion. Public hearings will be scheduled for each permit application and the company is committed to participating in at least one neighborhood meeting to answer questions from concerned citizens.

Broken glass stored at Parallel Products (listener photo used with permission)
Contributed Photo

On the surface, the project appears to be beneficial to the city of New Bedford, but there are many questions to be asked and answered. Residents, particularly those in the general proximity of the Business Park, will have ample opportunity to ask those questions and to register their support or objections with the state. I hope people will get involved.

Now is the time to become familiar with Parallel's proposal and to get interested in the process. We'll do our best to pass on accurate information as all of this proceeds.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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