Recycling Events and Programs

SummerSounds2021Visit our table at the Summer Sounds Concerts on Thursdays at Spear Park.

We will be collecting plastic bags and film for recycling at each concert.  (Remember, plastic bags and film cannot go in your curbside recycling cart).  

We also will be offering all kinds of recycling, waste reduction and composting information at each concert, along with a free raffle giveaway!  Each week we will have information on a different topic.  Watch the Middletown Recycling and Public Works facebook page for up to date details.  

FarmersMarket2021Come visit our table at the Middletown Farmers Market every Friday!  There's lots happening!  We will be collecting food scraps at the Middletown Farmers Market during the 2021 season!  Bring your food scraps to us and we will deliver it to our local drop off at the recycling center.  

Food waste makes up almost 25% of what we put in the trash.   Wasting food contributes to climate change and is expensive.  Wasted food is a valuable resource and can be turned into a valuable soil amendment and clean energy.    Make the change and learn how to compost in your backyard or bring it to a local drop off.  During Farmers Market season, you can bring it to us and we will make sure it gets composted and turned into clean energy! 

Through July and early August, Uconn Master Composters will be on site to answer your composting questions.  

Food Scrap collection containers will be available to any Middletown resident who pledges to compost or drop off their food scraps! 

We will also be able to accept plastic bags and film for recycling at the Market.  Remember, plastic bags and film cannot go in your recycling cart!   

Watch the Middletown Recycling and Public Works Facebook page for weekly details.   

WASTED Event Announcement Everyone generates trash! We were so pleased to be part of this seven part series on waste. Speakers and topics are below. Recordings available upon request. Contact

Meeting Schedule:

March 18: Environmental Justice of Waste
- Sharon Lewis, Executive Director, CT Coalition for Environmental Justice
- Kevin Budris, Attorney, Zero Waste Project, Conservation Law Foundation
- Alex Rodriguez, Climate Advocate, Save the Sound

March 25: What Happens to Your Trash?
- Sherill Baldwin, CT DEEP Source Reduction & Recycling
- Janice Ehlemeyer, Community Resource Planner, RiverCOG

April 8: Where Are We Heading?
- Katie Dykes, Commissioner, CT DEEP
- Ben Florsheim, Mayor, City of Middletown
- Lisa Noreiga, Environmental Intern, Sustainable CT
- Sherill Baldwin, CT DEEP Source Reduction & Recycling

April 15: Let's Get Going - Waste Audits
- Michelle Eckman, Education Consultant, Michelle Eckman Consulting

April 22: Advocacy Workshop
- Lou Rosado Burch, CT Program Director, Citizen's Campaign for the Environment
- Kevin Budris, Attorney, Zero Waste Project, Conservation Law Foundation

April 29: Clothing Repair Workshop
- Janice Ehlemeyer, Community Resource Planner, RiverCOG

May 6: Composting Workshop
- Dawn Pettenelli, Associate Cooperative Extension Educator, UConn Center for Environmental Sciences & Engineering
- Domingo Medina, Founder & Master Composter, Peels & Wheels Composting

Paper Shredding Events

The City of Middletown has scheduled a paper shred event FOR MIDDLETOWN RESIDENTS ONLY on Saturday, April 24, 2021.  It will be held at Veteran's Memorial Park on Walnut Grove Road (in between Old Mill Road and Newfield Street) from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.   For this event, only Middletown residents can attend.   We accept only residential paper to be shred and ask that residents are careful that only sensitive documents are included (no magazines, newspapers, junk mail, school papers or trash such as candy wrappers or trash).  We ask people to limit their loads to six boxes or bags.  We will have one truck on site, and once that is full, the event must shut down.   As long as residents respect the guidelines, we should have enough space for everyone! 

The Lower CT River Valley Council of Governments also holds regional paper shred events that Middletown residents can attend.  

 2021 Regional Paper Shredding Events  (9am - 12 noon) 

Saturday, May 22nd, Colchester-East Hampton Water Pollution Control Facility, 20 Gildersleeve Drive, East Hampton 

Saturday, Sept. 11, Middlefield Community Center, 405 Main Street, Middlefield 

  • These paper shredding events are for personal residential papers.  They are not for businesses.  
  • Limit: 5 bags or boxes.  
  • Approximately 9"h. x 18" w. x 12"d. 
  • 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). 


Due to COVID-19, participants must abide by new safety requirements to attend these events.  Please take a moment to read these new procedures. 

New Procedures for Paper Shredding Events (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.  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. Participants will be turned away if they do not prepare their materials properly or are not abiding by these safety standards.   We greatly appreciate everyone’s help in making sure these events are held safely.   

Rules for attending a Household Hazardous Waste or Paper Shredding Event (PDF)

2021 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events  (9am - 1pm) 

Saturday, April 17, Clinton Public Works Garage, 117 Nod Road, Clinton 

Saturday, June 19, Colchester-East Hampton Water Pollution Control Facility, 20 Gildersleeve Drive, East Hampton

Saturday, August 21, Woodside Intermediate School, 30 Woodside Road, Cromwell

Saturday, October 9, Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown 

If you are interested in volunteering at one of these events, please contact RiverCOG directly at 860-581-8554 or email

Household Hazardous Waste Events: 

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.  

* Please note some paintcare locations have suspended collections due to COVID-19. Check with each retailer as to when collections are resumed.  

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 and Hard Drive Shredding event is being planned in Middletown for mid-September.  Details will be posted as soon as they are available.  

Community Composting and Rain Barrel Sale 

The City of Middletown is offering a community compost bin and rain barrel sale with a distribution date of Sunday, April 11 at Veteran’s Park.  Orders must be placed on line by April 8th.  

Press Release on Community Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Sale

Learn more about composting from our backyard composting presentation with UConn Master Composters, Danielle Butsch and Ruth Eckhoff.   The presentation was recorded March 2021.  Danielle and Ruth will be available to answer your composting questions at the distribution event in Middletown on April 11 or contact the City Recycling Coordinator.  

More information and on line orders can be placed 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! 

Repair Café 

The City of Middletown, Rockfall Foundation and Lower CT River Valley Council of Governments have had to cancel our 2020 Repair Cafés due to COVID-19.  Currently, we are planning a virtual event in the spring 2021.    If you are interested in helping with this event, please contact the Recycling Coordinator or The Rockfall Foundation at 860-347-0340.  

Beyond Recycling: Zero Waste Swaps at Home 

Tuesday, April 20, 7:00 - 8:00 pm.  On-line Event.  

Join Middletown's Recycling Coordinator, Kim O'Rourke, for an active discussion on CT's looming waste disposal crisis, why recycling isn't enough, and how we all can reuse more and reduce our waste at home.  Learn some simple tips!  This event is meant to be an interactive discussion, so bring your recycling questions and your own zero waste swap ideas to share with others!  This event is being held in conjunction with the wonderful Russell Library!  Registration is required.  Register here at the Russell Library website.

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.