Frequently Asked Questions

Households in the pilot program will be provided with 117 bags to use during the nine-month pilot period. This is enough for two 15-gallon orange trash bags and one 8-gallon green food scraps bag per week. At home, residents will separate food scraps from their trash and place in the green bags. Non-recyclable trash will go in the orange bags. Each week on your regular collection day, residents will place their securely closed green and orange bags in the same trash container they use now for curbside pick up.

West Haven’s single-family homes and multi-family dwellings that include up to four units participate in the Co-Collection pilot program. Dwellings with 5 or more units do not participate.

Each household should have received a box containing enough bags for the 9-month pilot. If you did not receive your bags, you can order them through the app, or email your address to recycling@westhaven-ct.gov

If you have any trouble with the app, you can pick up bags at City Hall during regular business hours.

Each household will receive enough bags for 2 orange trash bags (15-gallons each) and 1 green food scrap bag (8-gallons each) for each week of the pilot.

Once you have exhausted your initial allotment, you will be able to purchase West Haven bags at retail stores—locations to be announced soon.  

While it is unlikely that any household used its 9 month supply already, please contact us if you still don’t have sufficient bags or have a hardship that prevents you from obtaining them.  The phone number is 203.937.3585, follow the prompts to Solid Waste.

 

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 container. Please ensure the bags are tied for disposal.

Residents are encouraged to be sure to recycle all they can and separate their food scraps to stay with in the allotted trash bags. Additional trash and food scrap bags will be available at local retailers. List to be provided at a later date.

While it is unlikely that any household used its 9 month supply already, please contact us if you still don’t have sufficient bags or have a hardship that prevents you from obtaining them.  The phone number is 203.937.3585, follow the prompts to Solid Waste.

 

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.

The pilot program is free – you will be provided with an allotment of orange trash and green food scraps bags to use during the pilot. Residents are encouraged to use the provided orange trash bags and we ask each resident to separate out food scraps as best they can and place them in the green bags. With rising disposal costs, it is important to separate out food scraps and recyclables from disposal. Learn more here.

Once collected, the green food scrap bags will be separated from the orange trash bags at a DEEP-approved 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 high cost of nitrogen processing at the wastewater treatment facility, 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 www.recyclect.com Type in the product you are wondering about and the tool will tell you if its recyclable.

· Compost: Place all your unpackaged food scraps loose 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. Please remove all packaging and no plastic, no metal, no sanitary waste, no pet waste.

Watch the August 22, 2022 City Council Meeting that describes the Co-collection Pilot.

The City voted to accept the grant funds and move forward with the Pilot Program.

More Information

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

West Haven City Hall is open Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm.

Contact

City of West Haven
355 Main Street
West Haven, CT 06516
203-937-3585

recycling@westhaven-ct.gov
www.cityofwesthaven.com