City of Middletown, CT

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A typical household bill has been reduced by over $100 annually.*
  • We were able to reduce your yearly waste fee, despite the rising costs of trash across the state, by shifting the disposal cost into the price of the orange trash bags.
  • This puts you in control of your trash costs. This system (Save As You Throw or SAYT) is similar to electricity where the user pays a basic amount that covers fixed costs and then a user fee (bags) for the amount used.
  • Paying only for the trash that you make means you have the power to save money by recycling more and separating food scraps.
  • The more you donate, re-use, reduce, recycle, and separate out food scraps, the less orange bags you buy! Save money by making less trash.

*Note this reduction is just for cart services


Households and businesses that use cart services in Middletown’s Sanitation District are required to purchase City official orange trash bags. Customers can save money and buy less orange bags by purchasing green bags for a lower price! Green bags are for food scraps, and get sent to anerobic digester. At home and at work, customers separate food scraps from their trash and place in the green bags. Regular trash goes in the orange bags. Acceptable recyclable materials can go in your recycling cart as usual. Each week on your regular collection day, customers will place their securely closed green and orange bags together in their trash cart for curbside pick up.

Households and businesses that use cart services in Middletown’s Sanitation District are required to participate in the Co-Collection SAYT program.

At the time of printing, bags are available at ReBoot Eco (131 River Rd) and Price Chopper (at the guest services desk). We are working to make bags available in all local stores and City Hall. 

Price per bag: green
4 gal (counter-top): $0.15
8 gal. (bucket) size: $0.25

Price per bag: orange 
33 gal (large/family): $1.65
15 gal (pilot size): $1.00
8 gal (seniors & singles): $0.70

Yes! Only Official City of Middletown green and orange bags are accepted after Nov. 1, 2023. Fines will be issued for non compliance. Note that it is not mandatory to use the green bags, however, since food makes up a big portion of household trash, you will save money and buy fewer orange bags by separating out the heavy, stinky food. This is better for the environment too!

No. This program will not require you to change the containers you use for your trash bags. You can place both the orange trash bags and green food scraps bags together inside your trash cart. Please ensure the bags are tied for disposal.

There are no changes to the recycling program. Please continue to place your bottles & cans, paper & cardboard in your recycling bin. Items should be clean and dry and placed loose in your bin. Questions about recycling? Learn more about recycling here.

Once collected, the green food scrap bags will be separated from the orange trash bags at the transfer station facility. The green food scrap bags will then be sent to Quantum Biopower in Southington, CT. Quantum is an anaerobic digestion facility that turns food scraps into clean, renewable energy and compost, saving it from the trash can.

No. Remember, co-collection is not adding new odors to your waste stream. It is simply separating food from trash. Food scraps in separate green bags produce no more odor than when it’s not separated from the trash. Keeping a tight lid on your indoor kitchen food scrap collection bucket will keep odors out. Rinsing kitchen buckets as needed and putting food scrap bags out for weekly collection (even if they are not full) should keep odors to a minimum. In the summer, you may choose to keep food scraps in the freezer in a separate container until just before collection. 


Here are some additional tips:

  1. Seal it. Keep the lid tightly closed at all times to prevent odors and nuisance pests like fruit flies.

  2. Cool it. Store your bin out of direct sunlight if you can, as heat can speed up smells.

  3. Cover it. You can also add in any newsprint, soiled paper towels, or napkins to your food scrap bag, as that might assist with any odors. Stale bread can also help here.

  4. Freeze it. If you are finding that even with the lid the smell is off-putting, consider keeping a small container (such as a small bag or Tupperware-type bowl) in your fridge/freezer to collect the scraps before you transfer to the green bag and place out on your collection day. Nothing can stink when it is frozen! If you can’t fit all of your food waste inside the freezer, consider freezing meat and dairy scraps as they are often the smelliest.

  5. Sprinkle it. If your kitchen pail smells, sprinkle a bit of baking soda inside to neutralize the smell.

  • Drain liquids before putting food scraps in your kitchen bin.

  • Include soiled paper towels and napkins to help absorb liquids.

  • Keep food scraps in freezer until just before pickup.

  • Wrap meat, poultry, and fish in newspaper.

  • To get rid of summertime fruit flies, set a trap. Place a small bottle of cider vinegar, with a few drops of dish soap added to it, near your kitchen bin.

  • Place your green food scraps bag out for collection every week, even if it is not full.

With co-collection you are just moving food scraps into a different bag. You also won’t need to take out the trash as often.

Backyard composting is great and encouraged! You may decide you want to use curbside co-collection for certain items (eggshells, meat, bones, and dairy, prepared foods) or to use in the winter.

To reduce the risk of costly sewer backups, we strongly urge residents to switch from in-sink disposals and use the curbside co-collection program for food scraps. It will also save on your water usage and produce usable fertilizer.


Reduce your food waste. Keep your refrigerator clean and organized so you know what you have before you shop. Store leftovers in clear containers so you can see what’s in them. Use a shopping list. Use your freezer. Reduce other household waste by avoiding single use disposable items and choose products with minimal packaging.

· Reuse: Use reusable shopping bags and coffee mugs. Repurpose glass jars at home. Donate household items and clothing. Consider cloth napkins.

· Recycle: Remember the basics: Recycle your paper & cardboard and empty bottles & cans. Items should be clean and dry and placed loose in your collection bin. Also, try the What’s In What’s Out tool at Type in the product you are wondering about and the tool will tell you if its recyclable.

· Compost: Place all your food scraps in the green bags! Fruits & Veggies, Eggs & Eggshells, Meat & Seafood (include bones and shells), Coffee Grounds & Tea Bags, Dairy, Pasta, Grains & Bread, Cookies, Cake, & Candy. You can also include food-soiled paper, such as napkins and paper towels, greasy pizza boxes. Please no plastic, no metal, no sanitary waste, no pet waste.

More Information

For more information, please contact the City of Middletown Department of Public Works 

Middletown Public Works is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm


City of Middletown

245 deKoven Drive

2nd Floor, Room 210

Middletown, CT 06457

(860) 638-4850