Recycling Events and Programs

2023 Presentations

Interested in learning more about Middletown's recycling and waste reduction programs?  Come to one of our upcoming events!  

Sustainable Middletown Scavenger Hunt - Saturday, May 6, 11 - 3pm, starting at Russell Library. For kids and adults!  Visit different places in Middletown to learn about sustainable efforts happening locally. This is a very fun event with lots of fun activities for kids and adults, giveaways, and opportunities to win local, sustainable prizes. Thank you to our partners, Eversource and Russell Library for helping us create this unique and fun event in Middletown! 

Repair Cafe - Saturday, June 10 from 12 - 3pm at the Dekoven House.  Details to follow!  Interested in volunteering?  Contact Tony Marino at The Rockfall Foundation. 

Electronics Recycling

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 drop off event is usually held in early September at Wesleyan University, 170 Long Lane, Middletown, CT.  All CT residents are welcome.    Watch for details! 

Middletown Recreation Recycling Events - 

Reboot Eco Thumbnail

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

Paper Shred 2022

Photo Credit: Erin Deleon Photography 

Paper Shredding Events

Regional Shredding events are planned by the Lower CT River Valley Council of Governments and Middletown residents can attend at no charge.  2023 Dates for these events are as follows: 

  • May 13, Colchester East Hampton Waster Pollution Control Facility, 20 Gildersleeve Drive, East Hampton;
  • June 24, Westbrook Town Hall, 866 Boston Post Road;
  • September 23, Middlefield Community Center, 405 Main Street, Middlefield; 
  • October 14, Chester Town Hall, 203 Middlesex Ave, Chester.

Please follow these instructions: 

  • 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). 


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.  

2023 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days

  • April 22, Clinton Public Works Garage, 117 Nod Road, Clinton 
  • May 6, Colchester-East Hampton Water Pollution Control Facility, 20 Gildersleeve Drive, East Hampton 
  • June 17, Lyme/Old Lyme Middle School, 49 Lyme St. Old Lyme
  • July 22, Woodside Intermediate School, 30 Woodside Road, Cromwell 
  • August 19, HHW Facility, 11 Dump Road, Essex 
  • September 16, Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown 
  • October 21, Haddam Elem. School, 272 Saybrook Road, Higganum  

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

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).   

Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Sale - 

Order online and pick up compost bins and rain barrels on Sunday, April 30, from 9 - 11 am  in Middletown at the Highway Garage at 485 Washington Street.    

Learn more about the sale and place orders here.  

Learn more about backyard composting here. 

Learn more about food waste diversion here.   

Recycling Cart Stickers 

Recycle Poster for cart 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! 

Waste Reduction Programs

Repair Café - June 10 at The Dekoven House 

The City of Middletown and the Rockfall Foundation will hold a Repair Cafes on June 10, 2023.  Are you interested in helping?  Contact the  The Rockfall Foundation at 860-347-0340.  

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.

Phone Books

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., 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.