June 27, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Director Christopher Holden, 860-638-4850, Recycling Coordinator Kim O'Rourke at 860-638-4855 or Emily Gaylord, Center for Ecotechnology, 413-687-2132 or email@example.com
City of Middletown Launches Reusable Containers Initiative
Middletown, CT— The City of Middletown, Connecticut has launched Fostering Circular Solutions for Takeout Containers, a program focused on helping businesses develop and adopt source reduction practices focused on reusable takeout containers. With support from EPA Region 1 grant funding, Middletown launched the program to address the issue of single-use takeout containers, which are one of the top contributors to the waste stream, with 180 billion single-use containers produced and disposed of every year in the U.S. alone.
After careful consideration, the City selected USEFULL to help implement this reusable container project. Three Middletown eateries will be participating in the project, including, ION Restaurant, Perk on Main, and Story and Soil Coffee. Working closely with the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) and USEFULL, Middletown's Recycling Coordinator, Kim O'Rourke aims to kick off the program by mid-June 2023. The pilot will run through the fall of 2023.
Employees at Perk on Main discuss reusable containers with representatives from USEFULL and the Center for EcoTechnology
CET proposed this pilot with Middletown to showcase how communities of any size can catalyze the adoption of reusable takeout programs. When businesses opt to start a reusable container program, they can be confronted by some initial challenges, such as affordability, convenience, lack of infrastructure (i.e., dishwashers), misconceptions, and more. Through Fostering Circular Solutions for Takeout Containers, the City of Middletown hopes to reduce these barriers and showcase the successes that can occur when we collaborate.
ION employees pose with representatives from USEFULL and CET
For members of the public looking to participate in this program, they can download the USEFULL app and get started on using reusable containers at their favorite local Middletown restaurants. Middletown and USEFULL also hope that residents will stay up to date on the impact of the project through the USEFULL dashboard and the Fostering Circular Solutions for Takeout Containers webpage.
As a community-driven project, Fostering Circular Solutions for Takeout Containers also aims to build community interest and capacity to solve single-use takeout containers' environmental and human health problems. Within its role in the pilot, CET will bring decades of experience in implementing and innovating sustainable materials management practices for hard-to-handle waste items.
USEFULL and CET staff speak with a representative of Story and Soil about reusable containers
CET is a national leader in catalyzing reduction, reuse, and recycling activities. The non-profit helps a range of businesses and institutions, from those just getting started to those who want to take their existing efforts to the next level.
Download the USEFULL app and visit the participating restaurants to be directly involved in Middletown’s waste reduction efforts. Learn more about Fostering Circular Solutions for Takeout Containers and how CET is helping small businesses throughout Connecticut reduce their waste.
Download the app!
For more than 45 years, the Center for EcoTechnology has helped people and businesses save energy and reduce waste.
For more information visit centerforecotechnology.org.