What is the Save As You Throw Program?

 In November 2023, the City of Middletown reduced the sanitation fees for property owners in the Sanitation District and shifted to a two-tiered billing system where the disposal cost of trash is included in the cost of required program bags. Customers must use the specified orange bags for trash. The City also added a curbside collection of food scraps. Food scraps can be put in a specified green bag and placed in the regular trash cart. Both the orange bags and the green bags are taken to a transfer station where they are sorted and the food waste is taken to an anaerobic digester where it is turned into clean energy and compost. The actual trash disposed of is reduced. 


  • With the previous system, everyone paid a flat fee no matter how much trash they disposed of.  

  • Now customers must use the required orange bags, which include the cost of disposal in the cost of the bag.  This way, customers pay for what they actually dispose of. Those who generate more waste pay more than those who generate less waste.    

  • The orange bag is the receipt for the payment of the disposal cost.  

  • The green bag can be used for food scraps and be placed in the same trash container as the orange bag.  This allows residents to separate out food scraps and save money by not putting food waste into the more expensive orange bag.   

  • This type of food scrap diversion program is called “co-collection”. It is new to Connecticut, and is used in hundreds of communities to manage food scraps as a resource, not a waste.   

  • Through this program, the City is expecting to reduce waste by at least 40% and control future costs as trash disposal expenses continue to escalate.  

  • Requiring customers to use certain bags and putting the disposal cost into the cost of the bag, is called “unit-based pricing”.  

  • Having two different colored bags with two different waste streams in the same cart adds convenience and reduces costs for collecting two different types of materials. 


This program will help reduce waste, increase recycling and control future cost increases.  The City is working in partnership with the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and has received grant funding for this specific project. Information on the program can be found at: https://www.middletownct.gov/201/Sanitation-Division and https://reducethetrashct.com/middletown/.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Save As You Throw Program?
2. Why is Middletown trying the SAYT program?
3. How does the program work?
4. Are there truly high costs for disposal?
5. What is the City's relationship with the Lisbon Incinerator?
6. How was the program researched?
7. Are other towns doing this program?
8. How can I save money with this program?
9. Is this program actually going to work to reduce waste?
10. Where can I get more information on unit-based pricing?
11. Why do the bags cost more?
12. How are the bags collected?
13. What stores sell the bags?
14. What if I can’t afford the bags?
15. Is the City enforcing the use of the bags?
16. Is Middletown profiting from the sale of the bags?
17. Are we required to use the orange trash bags?
18. Why is the City encouraging the use of plastic bags?
19. Can the City use another vendor that offers bags that cost less?
20. How do I separate my food scraps?
21. Where can I get a food scrap bucket or countertop container?
22. I already do backyard composting. Should I participate in the food scrap recycling program?
23. What do I do with yard waste?
24. What do I do with cat litter and dog waste
25. Why didn’t I see a reduction in my bill?
26. What do I do with bulky waste?
27. Do I do anything differently with my recycling?
28. Is there a bag for recycling?
29. Why can’t I just put my food scraps down the garbage disposal?
30. How is food scrap collection being enforced?
31. Are the food scraps really separated?
32. Won’t the food scrap collection program create more work?
33. How do I get involved in advising the program?
34. What is the Sanitation District?
35. How does the Sanitation District fee work?
36. Why do I have to pay a fee for the Sanitation District, even if I am not using the service?
37. Why didn’t I see a reduction in my bill?
38. I’m a renter and never had a sanitation bill. Where’s my savings?
39. Can I choose to use a private trash hauler?
40. How did the City figure out the costs of this program?
41. Why can’t we just have a voluntary program?
42. Why are we doing this just in the Sanitation District?
43. Is it true that Wesleyan and Middlesex Health are exempt from this program?
44. Why can’t the city give everyone an in-home electric “composter” instead?
45. Are schools recycling and diverting food scraps?
46. How does Middletown’s program compare to Stonington’s?
47. What does this mean if I am a Landlord?
48. What does this mean if I am a Renter?
49. How does the Sanitation District pricing compare to private haulers?