Recycling Events and Programs
Waste Reduction Programs
Holiday Toy Swap
The City of Middletown partnered with Reboot Eco to hold its first Toy Swap in December 2021 at Reboot Eco, 131 River Road, Middletown. Thank you to everyone who participated! You didn't need to swap to shop, so we had both people who dropped off, and others who shopped. Leftover toys were brought to the Middletown Swap Shack.
The City of Middletown, Rockfall Foundation, Sustainable Essex and Lower CT River Valley Council of Governments hold Repair Cafes in the spring and the fall. If you are interested in helping with this event, please contact the Recycling Coordinator or The Rockfall Foundation at 860-347-0340.
Middletown Recreation Recycling Events -
We are thrilled to collaborate with the Middletown Recreation Department of several different events, including Recreation Recycles monthly video activities, Pumpkin Smash, Beeswax Wrap Take Home Kits, and so much more. Check out the Middletown Recreation Program Page which lists all the active Recreation Recycling programs.
Recycling and Composting Programs
We were thrilled to be a weekly vendor at the Middletown Farmer's Market during the 2021 season. We handed out almost 200 food waste collection containers and talked to numerous people about recycling and composting. Special thanks to the Uconn Master Composters who volunteered their time on Fridays to assist our program.
Paper Shredding Events
Saturday, April 30, 2022,
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.,
Palmer Field Parking Lot, Bernie O'Rourke Drive, Middletown.
Accepting donations of non perishable food items for Amazing Grace Food Pantry.
- Personal residential papers only. No businesses.
- Limit: 5 bags or boxes.
- Approximately 9"h. x 18" w. x 12"d.
- Please do not bring papers in plastic bags. Paper bags and boxes only.
- No junk mail, magazines, books, cards, envelopes, metal ring binders, school papers, etc. Sensitive Documents only. Not sure what is considered sensitive? Check here (PDF).
Regional Shredding events are planned by the Lower CT River Council of Governments and Middletown residents can attend at no charge. Dates for these events are as follows:
- June 4, Colchester East Hampton Waster Pollution Control Facility, 20 Gildersleeve Drive, East Hampton;
- June 25, Westbrook Town Hall, 866 Boston Post Road;
- September 24, Middlefield Community Center, 405 Main Street, Middlefield;
- October 15, Chester Town Hall, 203 Middlesex Ave, Chester.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day
The Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments coordinates Household Hazardous Waste Events through the spring, summer and fall. Middletown residents can attend these events at no charge. Due to COVID-19 new protocols have been put in place to ensure the public’s safety, as well as safety for workers and volunteers. If you are planning to attend one of these events, please take a moment to read through the new safety requirements.
More information on household hazardous waste can be found here.
If you are interested in volunteering at one of these events, please contact RiverCOG directly at 860-581-8554 or email email@example.com.
Please remember empty containers can just go in the regular garbage. Oil and Latex paint can be brought to a PaintCare location, such as Ace Hardware on South Main Street or any Sherwin-Williams paint store (there's one in Cromwell).
* Please note some paintcare locations have suspended collections due to COVID-19. Check with each retailer before bringing paint.
Electronics recycling is always free at the Middletown Recycling Center. Acceptable items include televisions, computers, printers and monitors. Per State Law, no more than 7 items can be brought into the Recycling Center at one time. A Middletown driver’s license or utility bill is required to use the Recycling Center. View the Electronics Recycling Brochure (PDF).
An Electronics Collection and Hard Drive Shredding event is usually held in Middletown in mid-September. Details will be posted as soon as they are available.
Community Composting and Rain Barrel Sale - OPEN NOW! Pick up on Sunday, April 24, 2022
The City of Middletown, in conjunction with RiverCog, holds a community compost bin and rain barrel sale in the spring and fall. Our Spring 2022 Sale is happening now. Order can pay on line and pick up bins and barrels on Sunday, April 24 from 9 - 11 AM at the Palmer Field Parking Lot on Bernie O'Rourke Drive in Middletown. Find full details here.
Learn more about backyard composting here.
Learn more about food waste diversion here.
More information and on line orders can be placed here: https://rivercog.compostersale.com/. The online store is currently OPEN until April 22, 2022.
Recycling Cart Stickers
Are you confused by what to put in your bin? The City Recycling Division has stickers available for recycling carts (indoors bins or outside carts). These stickers were created by Wesleyan University and Middlesex Community College students in conjunction with staff from Wesleyan University, Middletown Public Works, Middlesex Community College, and Middlesex Hospital. The project was funded with a grant from Recycle CT.
Stickers are available to all Middletown residents and businesses. Contact the Middletown Recycling Coordinator to receive yours!
City of Middletown’s Zero Waste Initiative
The State Comprehensive Management Strategy sets a goal recycling and/or diverting 60% of the municipal solid waste. The City of Middletown has been working on many programs to increase its recycling and reduce its garbage. It is critical that the City’s residents, businesses, institutions and government do all we can to reduce and recycle more of our waste. It is critical for environmental and financial reasons. The state’s trash to energy facilities are older and in need of updating and repair. If we continue generating as much waste as we do, the cost will continue to escalate.
It is important to note that recycling is not the answer. Recycling is certainly better than just trashing items, but recycling can be costly as well. In the last few years the cost of recycling has escalated because of the China’s National Sword. The domestic markets are getting flooded and the cost to recycle is going up. It is still cheaper than trash, but whereas, Middletown used to get paid for recycling, the City is now paying to recycle single stream material. It is more important than ever that the material put in recycling bins be clean and acceptable. But it is even better to actively REDUCE what you are throwing away and recycling. Using less, is better for the environment and costs less.
In 2011 The City of Middletown has been chosen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be one of fifteen municipalities throughout the nation to participate in a Zero Waste Pilot Program, to assist municipalities in creating Zero Waste Programs. The Middletown Resource Recycling Advisory Committee meets monthly to review efforts and move the City forward to Zero Waste (PDF).
The City of Middletown Common Council passed a City Resolution (PDF) in support of Zero Waste on March 4, 2013. The resolution officially makes Middletown a "Zero Waste Community." The City will work towards educating residents and businesses about Zero Waste and developing programs to increase its recycling rate and source reduction rates.
Since then the City has worked on various initiatives with businesses, multifamily complexes, residents and city government to reduce waste and the toxicity of its waste. Currently the City is a member of Sustainable CT and working on several initiatives to reduce waste throughout the City.
The City is currently participating on the CT Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management to help come up with solutions to reduce waste statewide. This initiative which includes both state and municipal leaders will meet September - December 2020 and hopes to present innovative waste management solutions and strategies in January 2021.
Zero Waste - Opt Out
Hartford Courant Flyer Delivery
The City has received on-going complaints about the delivery of unrequested flyers in plastic bags by the Hartford Courant. If you are getting these and do not want them thrown on your driveway, contact the Courant at 860-525-555, wait for the voice, then select "Zero," wait for the voice, then select "6." Ask to be placed on the "Stop Flyer Delivery" list.
According to the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), 660,000 tons of phone books end up in landfills and incinerators across the country because people do not recycle them. And a report from EPA found that not publishing a phone book reduces greenhouse gases by about 3 times as much as recycling (compared to landfilling). Connecticut state law 22a-256ee requires phone book companies to retrieve at least 30% of the directories they distribute in Connecticut.
YellowpagesOptOut.com, a consumer choice program that the Local Search Association and the Association of Directory Publishers has launched, provides an easy and secure option for Connecticut residents to control the number of yellow pages telephone directories they receive or stop directory delivery entirely. It is the only industry-approved online site where consumers can connect directly with phone book publishers to share information about their delivery choices. If those directories are just collecting dust, you may want to just say no to yellow.