Refuse Collection Department

Simple Recycling – a free, curbside textile recycling program

New Recycling Service:  Free Curbside Collection of Used Textiles and Small Household Items


Starting on December 10, 2018, the Town of Middletown will begin offering a convenient new recycling service for residents:  Curbside collection of used textiles and small household items.  The service will be provided by Simple Recycling ( and will be free to the Town and free to residents.

How It Works

In the weeks before the program launches, Simple Recycling will send informational mailers to residents of Middletown.  The mailers will contain free Simple Recycling bags.  When cleaning out closets or disposing of unwanted clothes and small household items, residents can place them in the bags.  Residents can then place the bags at the curb or alley near their recycling container on their normal recycling collection day.  Simple Recycling’s trucks will pick them up, free of charge.

When Simple Recycling collects bags from a residence, the collection worker will leave replacement bags at the curb.  If a resident has a lot of material to get rid of, and doesn’t have enough bags, then that’s no problem.  It’s OK to use regular trash bags (not PAYT bags) that are clearly marked for Simple Recycling.  Residents can also contact Simple Recycling for more bags here.

Missed Collections

Visit  or call 866-835-5068 for missed collections of your pink bag.

Types of Items Accepted

Simple Recycling will collect a wide range of used textiles and small household items.  The list of accepted items includes:

Used or New Clothing (men’s, women’s, children’s) Kitchenware
Boots & Shoes Linens & Pillows
Bedding (sheets, pillow cases, blankets, comforters) Sandals & Slippers (in pairs)
Belts & Ties Socks (singles or in pairs)
Books Stuffed Animals
Bras Table Linens
Coats & Jackets Tools
Fashion Accessories Towels
Handbags & Purses Toys
Hats & Gloves Undergarments

For More Information
For more information about the Simple Recycling program, residents can call Middletown’s Recycling at 401 842-6519 or write

Benefits for the Environment

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 84% of old clothes, shoes, belts, handbags, and textile items end up in a landfill or an incinerator?1 In fact, the average person in America throws away more than 85 lbs. of textile items each year.2 Textiles make up more than 6% of all the residential and municipal trash in the US.

Clothing and textiles require a lot of resources to make, including water, fertilizer, and pesticides for growing natural fibers like cotton, as well as petroleum to make synthetic fibers. When we reuse and recycle textiles, it conserves the resources used to make them.  In fact, collecting one ton of clothing conserves far more than a ton of the “embedded” resources.

The Simple Recycling service is designed to keep those items out of the trash, which is good for the environment.


  1. Advancing Sustainable Materials Management, 2014 Fact Sheet, released November 2016, US Environmental Protection Agency, p. 8
  2. Pounds per person is calculated by dividing total US disposed textiles tonnage in 2014 by the US population in 2014, per the US Census (318.6 million).

Simple Recycling:
Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How much does the program cost?
A:  ZERO! All Simple Recycling programs are offered free of cost to cities, residents and participants.

Q:  What happens to the collected clothing?
A:  All the materials are graded and sorted locally and/or regionally based on quality and condition. The top-quality materials will be resold to thrift outlets, mid-grade is exported to international markets, and “unusable” items are processed for raw materials.

The life cycle of secondhand clothing

Q:  Is Simple Recycling a non-profit organization?
A:  No, Simple Recycling is a for-profit recycler that is committed to offering residents the most simple and easy way to keep usable materials from the landfill. Residents who prefer to donate items to charity should continue to do so.  Simple Recycling recommends the free home pickup service of

Q:  What does Simple Recycling accept?
A:  Simple Recycling primarily focuses on clothing and accessories, but also takes small usable household discards.  Acceptable items include: Men’s Clothing, Women’s Clothing, Children’s Clothing, Coats and Jackets, Jewelry, Shoes, Purses, Hats, Toys, Blankets, Drapes/Curtains, Pillows, Sleeping Bags, Tools, Silverware, Dishes, Pots/Pans, Backpacks.

Q:  What if a resident has more stuff than can fit in the Simple Recycling bag?
A:  Residents can use any trash bag, as long as it’s clearly marked for Simple Recycling.  In addition, Simple Recycling is happy to provide extra bags:  Request more bags here.
Do not use PAYT trash bags for Real Simple collections.

Q:  Should residents put clothing and other items in the blue recycling cart?
A: No, the clothing and household discards will need to be set out separately and alongside the trash and recycling bins.

Q:  What day will Simple Recycling pick up?
A:  Simple Recycling follows the same pickup schedule as residents’ current trash and recycling pickup.

Q:  Is the trash or recycling truck going to pick up the stuff for Simple Recycling?
A:  No, there will be a separate Simple Recycling truck that will pick up the designated bags/items.

Q: Is there a limit on how much stuff Simple Recycling will take?
A: No, as long as the items qualify as the types of items Simple Recycling is able to accept, the driver can take as much as the resident wants to offer.

Q: Does Simple Recycling provide tax receipts?
A: No, Simple Recycling is not a non-profit organization. If you are looking to donate, please click on the Donate Link on the left side of the page.

Please contact with additional questions.