Learn About Our Trash & Recycling Program

Trash & Recycling Program Overview

Refuse collection has created a two part system that requires both steps to be completed in order for your trash, recycling, and yard waste to be collected:

  1. You pay an annual user fee as part of your application to the town's refuse collection program. We will issue a small sticker for each of your trash and recycling carts so the driver of the truck knows you are part of the town's program. Our annual billing cycle runs from November 1 through October 31. We do offer a half-year program from May 1 through October for half-price. We do not offer a military or senior discount.
  2. You must purchase yellow Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) trash bags at local stores to use for the disposal of your regular non-recyclable trash. These special PAYT bags serve two purposes:
    • Money raised by the sale of these bags helps pay for the collection and disposal of our trash, recycling, and yard waste
    • The price of the bags provides a financial incentive for residents to recycle as much as possible
      • In other words, PAYT users make a greater effort to dispose of their newspapers and milk jugs in the recycling containers in order to minimize the amount of regular trash that has to be placed in the yellow trash bags. All of your recyclables can be placed in blue container loose, without a PAYT bag.

Purchase PAYT Bags

The PAYT bags are available for purchase in supermarkets, pharmacies and hardware stores in Middletown. They cost $1.75 per 15-gallon bag, and $2 per 33-gallon bag and are sold in sleeves of five. The bags are not taxed.

Refuse Carts

Each household is issued a gray refuse cart and a blue recycling cart. Call the recycling coordinator at 401-842-6519 or email Refuse Collection if your container is damaged or you require additional carts.

All regular household refuse must be placed in a yellow PAYT trash bag and placed in the gray cart for collection.

Care & Use of Your Cart

  • Always keep the lid closed to keep rain, snow, and animals out
  • Clean your cart periodically
  • When placed at the curb, maintain three feet of space between your carts, mailbox, car, and other items, to allow enough room for the mechanical arm to grab the cart

Cart Pickup

The gray refuse cart and the blue recycling cart will be collected weekly. All materials should be placed at the curb by 7 am on your collection day, visit the collection day link on the left of this page to find your street's scheduled pickup day.

Trash and recycling carts can be placed out as early as 7 pm the night before your collection day and all carts need to be off the street by 7 am the day following your collection day.


You do not need to sort your recyclables - all acceptable recyclable materials may go in your blue recycling cart. Please visit the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation website for a detailed list of acceptable recyclable material.

Yard Waste

All yard waste materials will be composted, so please do not place any trash in with your yard waste. Yard waste must be placed in containers clearly marked 'Yard Waste', in bundles or in paper compost bags and placed curbside on your regular collection day. Containers/bags should weigh no more than 50 pounds and branches must be tied in bundles, no longer than 4 feet. Be sure to leave a trash or recycling cart out until yard waste and/or Christmas trees have been collected. Yard waste will only be collected from households participating in the PAYT program.

Yard Waste Collection Schedule

  • January (Christmas tree collection)
  • April (4 weeks)
  • May through October (every other week)
  • November (4 weeks)
  • December (1 week)

Accepted Yard Waste

Yard waste is any plant life that grows in your yard:
- Grass Clippings
- Leaves
- Small Branches

Not Accepted Yard Waste

  • Concrete
  • Construction/Demolition Debris
  • Lumber
  • Dirt
  • Flammable Materials (Oil, gas, paint)
  • Hot Ashes
  • Household Hazardous Waste
  • Rock
  • Sod

Bulky Waste & White Goods

Bulky waste includes items that will not fit inside a PAYT bag like sofas, chairs, mattresses and carpets. White goods are appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, microwave ovens, and air conditioners.

Bulky Item Collection

For the collection of bulky items, residents must first purchase a bulky item sticker and then contact Republic Services to schedule the collection. Republic Services collects bulk waste the first and third Tuesday of every month. Sticker prices will vary depending on the item or items.

Republic Services
Phone: 800-825-3260, ext. 2

Donate Items

Remember to donate your gently used items, you may find a list of accepting organizations on our donation list, a link to the page is on the left of this page.

Bulk Waste Amnesty Days

The Town of Middletown will also hold multiple events for free drop-off of bulk waste items. No household trash, tires, lumber of construction debris will be accepted. You must call 401-842-6519 or email Refuse Collection to schedule a drop-off appointment. Location of the events will be announced as the date approaches.

Household Hazardous Waste

Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation will host an Eco-Depot, a household hazardous waste drop-off event, on Aquidneck Island throughout the year. Visit the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation website to view upcoming events.

These drop-off events provide Rhode Island residents an opportunity to dispose of items such as cleaning chemicals, electronics, pesticides, garage chemicals, and herbicides. 

Call 401-942-1430, ext. 241 to make an appointment.