Welcome to Middletown's Save As You Throw (SAYT) Food Scrap Co- Collection Program!

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The City of Middletown is committed to providing services and developing programs to help our environment, our health, and our world. Managing our waste materials sustainably is a vital part of this effort. The Sanitation District has always provided one of the lowest costs for trash and recycling in the State.  However, trash disposal costs are rising at alarming rates. Recycling costs have been high the last several years.  With the closing of the Hartford MIRA facility, in state trash disposal capacity have shrunk.  Even if new facilities can be sited and new technologies discovered, costs continue to escalate.  We all need to reduce the waste generated to get these costs under control.  The SAYT program works in other communities and has proven to reduce waste, thus reduce costs, and with the co-collection option, organics can be managed more sustainably and less expensively. 

Learn more about the SAYT program here. 

Watch the Status Update presented at the Common Council on 2/5/2024. It is available here. The presentation starts at the time mark 31.30

Answers to Questions from the Sanitation District Commission meeting on 11/28/2023 

Middletown's Waste Reduction Citizen's Advisory Committee is a working group of residents working to improve the program. It meets the second Monday of the month at 6pm.  Contact Recycling@MiddletownCT.Gov or call 860-638-4855 to join.  

Press Coverage of Announcement on Nov. 3, 2023 

Free Starter Pack of SAYT Bags! 

Free starter packs of orange and green bags are available at the Department of Public Works at City Hall.  One pack per house or apartment. 

Stay up to date on holidays, delays, events and scheduling with the Community Connect App.  


If you have trouble downloading the app, let us know! We can help!  Having the app will help us stay in touch with you.  Holidays, emergencies, tips, and free vouchers will all be communicated through the app.  You can also easily message us through the app too! 

Why is Middletown Doing This?

Municipalities are mandated in statute (CGS 22a-220) to provide for the safe and sanitary disposal of all solid wastes, which are generated in their boundaries.  To assist municipalities with state-wide waste reduction and recycling goals, and combat escalating trash disposal costs, the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has issued the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Grant program.  The SMM grant project is a year-long pilot program, projected to reduce waste by up to 40%, increase recycling, offer curbside collection of food scraps, and ultimately reduce costs to customers in the Sanitation District.  

Connecticut is in a trash crisis. Waste disposal capacity in the U.S. is shrinking. The New England region is expected to lose 40% of its trash disposal capacity in the next 5 years and up to 100% by 2040.

The State of Connecticut generates 3.5 million tons of municipal solid waste (trash) annually. However, the state only has capacity to manage 2.7 million tons of trash. This loss of trash disposal capacity is significantly affecting ALL Connecticut communities. The alternative of trucking CT trash up to 600 miles out of state is expensive and not sustainable. We need a new approach.

The City of Middletown has received grant funding from the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to run a food scrap co-collection pilot program.  This pilot for this program has been running since November 2022.  

Our goal with this program is to provide an incentive for residents and businesses to produce less waste by recycling more, while covering costs for disposal. In keeping with this rationale, the more you recycle, including food scraps, the less your waste disposal will cost.

Starting with the November 1, 2023 billing, customers who use the cart service in the Sanitation District received a reduction in their fee bills. With assistance from CT DEEP, the Sanitation District is moving to a two tiered, unit-based billing system for trash disposal.  

  • A typical residential bill has been reduced by over $100 annually.    
  • The fee was reduced, despite the rising costs of trash across the state, by shifting the disposal cost to the price of the orange trash bags.  The City bags are the receipt for paying the disposal part of the bill.  This system is similar to electricity and other utilities where the user pays a basic amount that covers fixed costs and then a user fee (in the case of our new waste disposal program: the cost of bags) for the amount used.
  • Paying only for the trash that you make means you can save money by recycling more effectively and separating food scraps. 

How Does the Program Work?

Residents and businesses that use a cart for trash must use the official orange and green bags for trash and food scraps.    

  • Trash must go in the orange bag.   
  • Food scraps go in the green bag. By using the green bags, customers can save money and help the environment.  
  • Customers put both bags in the regular trash cart.  Please note, that green bags should not be put in the orange bags.  They each stay separate, but both go in the trash cart.  
  • After the carts are emptied by the trash truck, the material gets taken to a sorting facility, where the green bags get separated and taken to Quantum Biopower where the food gets turned into clean energy.   
  • Recycling stays the same.  Recycling DOES NOT go in any bag.  Acceptable recyclables get placed loose in the blue recycling cart. 
  • Renters should check with their landlords.  Every rental agreement can be different. We are currently reaching out to property owners to encourage them, if appropriate, to pass on the savings to their renters either through a rent reduction or a certain amount of free bags.  

What is the Cost of the Bags?

  • Price per roll: Green  
    • 4 gal (counter-top size): $1.50 per roll of 10
    • 8 gal. (bucket size): $2.50 per roll of 10
  • Price per roll: Orange 
    • 33 gal (large/family size): $8.25 roll of 5
    • 15 gal (pilot size): $5.00 roll of 5
    • 8 gal (seniors & singles sized): $7.00 roll of 10

Bag Assistance  - Assistance is available for low-income families. Please complete the assistance form and we will be in touch with you.

Where are Bags Available?

The official City bags are available at:

  • Price Chopper, Guest Services Desk, 855 Washington St 
  • Stop and Shop, 416 E. Main Street 
  • Corner Stop, 221 Newfield St 
  • Stop & Go, 294 So. Main St
  • Reboot Eco, 131 River Rd 
  • Smith & Bishel, 155 Main St 
  • Walgreens, 311 E. Main St & 633 Washington St
  • City Hall, Public Works, 245 Dekoven Drive, Room 210 
    • check, card or exact cash payment only at City Hall 
  • Order Online HERE. 
  • For bulk deliveries contact the Recycling Office   or call 860-638-4858. 
  • Delivery options are available for Seniors and those with mobility challenges.  Checks should be made out to "City of Middletown" and mailed to: Middletown City Hall,  Public Works Dept., 245 Dekoven Drive, Room 210, Middletown, CT 06457.  Include name, address, phone number and or email address, and the number and size of the bags you are paying for.  We will contact you to make delivery arrangements. 


In order to ensure compliance, starting in January 2024 the City will conduct spot checks to ensure customers are using the required bags.  Property owners received a reduction in their sanitation bills, and now must use the required orange bags, which include the disposal cost that was removed from their bill.   If they are not using the designated bags, they are not paying their bill.   If your trash cart is not picked up and you are not complying with the rules, pack your trash in the required orange bags and call 860-638-4858 to let the office know it is ready for pick up.  City trucks will come back to empty your cart when it is in compliance.  

FAQ About our SAYT Program 

Visit our FAQ section to answer questions about this program.  

More Questions? 

More information on this program can be found at

Follow us on Facebook for announcements, holidays and recycling and waste reduction tips! 

 Sanitation District Billing 

Sanitation bills are sent out twice a year to all property owners in the Sanitation District.  Bills are for a six month period: 

  • November - April (Bill due Nov. 1st)
  • May - October (Bill due May 1st)
  • Payment can be made by mail, at the Tax Collectors office on line through this link: 

Please note with our new Save as you Throw (SAYT) the fee bills from the City cover only the Sanitation District's operational, maintenance and administrative costs of the City.  Disposal costs are included in the cost of the city-required official orange bags. 

Sanitation District Pick Up Schedule - 2024

Stay informed: 

Get the App!  Stay up-to-date on trash and recycling schedules and events with the Community Connector App. Opens in new window

Learn about the waste crisis through this Story Map designed by the Naugatuck Valley Regional Council of Governments.   

Curbside Trash and Recycling Services 

Most residents in Middletown are serviced by private trash haulers.  A list of these haulers is available here.  If you live in the City Sanitation District, contact the Public Works Department at 860-638-4851 to set up service.  

All residential haulers must offer trash and recycling services and follow the RecycleCT Recycling Guidelines.  Find a list of "What's In, What's Out" with the recycling here.  

City Sanitation District

The City Sanitation District collects trash and recyclables in the downtown area of Middletown. Residents and businesses in the District pay a separate fee for this service. All trash and recycling is collected by an automated truck and materials must be in a city issued orange or green bag and placed in the City Sanitation District trash cart.  Bulk Waste is collected separately on a Wednesday and/or Thursday for $75 per pick up. Mattresses and box springs are an additional $36 each and must be in a plastic bag, which is available upon payment at the DPW.* 

Bulk waste is not collected on holiday weeks. It can be suspended during the winter months.  Brush is also collected curbside in the District. Brush must be cut to 3’ lengths and bundled for collection.  

Sanitation District Questions:

Operational Questions:  860-638-4850

Billing Questions: 860-638-4851 

Sanitation District Boundaries 

Check this map to see the boundaries of the City Sanitation District.  

Sanitation Garbage & Recycling Schedule

Recycling and garbage are picked up on the same day. Recycling is every other week, garbage is every week. If garbage is placed in the recycling cart, it will not be emptied. 

  • 2024 Pick up Schedule
  • * Bulk waste is $75/pick up plus $36 per each mattress and box spring.  All mattresses and box springs must be wrapped in plastic bags.  Bags are available at the Dept. of Public Works and can be picked up when the payment is made.  More information on Bulk Waste Collection Collection can be found here.    

Clean Outs - The Sanitation District will provide extra carts at $25/cart/pickup for move outs and clean outs.  Call the office at 860-638-4850 to schedule.  


The Sanitation District usually observes the following holidays:  Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day. If staffing and funding allow, crews could work these days. Sign up for the Community Connector App or  Check the News Flash section of the Public Works page or the Middletown facebook site for confirmation as to whether crews are working on these days.You can sign up for these notices to come right to your inbox.  If in doubt, always put your garbage and recycling out on your regular collection day.  Even if it is a holiday week, and the holiday doesn’t fall on your collection day, still put your carts out on the regular day.  Crews work to catch up immediately.  Half the route may be on schedule, half a day behind.  So please be patient with the holiday pick-up.   


Everyone must recycle certain mandatory items.  Here are the general guidelines (PDF) for curbside recycling.  More information on recycling can be found in the Mixed Recycling Guidelines (PDF)

Food Waste 

Restaurants using the Sanitation District service can sign up to receive a separate cart from Blue Earth Compost for free collection of food waste.  Green bags are optional with this service. Information on this program is available here.  

Residents in the Sanitation District asked to use the city-issued green food scrap bags for food scraps.  Full details are available here.  

Residents outside the Sanitation District are encouraged to use one of the City's drop off locations for food scraps.   

Private Trash Haulers 

If you live outside of the Sanitation District, you are serviced by a private trash hauler (PDF). You must contact them directly for service and costs. All private haulers must be registered with the City and provide both trash and recycling services.

Private Trash Haulers must complete these forms to operate in the City of Middletown. 

All Trash and Recycling Carts must be removed from the curb after collection

On March 3, 2014, the Common Council adopted ordinances, Sections 253-23 to 253-26, which require that all garbage carts and recycling bins be removed from the curbside within 24 hours of pick up. A fine of $25 will be issued for each violation. Please note that each continuing day of noncompliance shall constitute a separate violation.