Sustainable Waste Management


Check out the Manchester Public Works Department social media pages for more information regarding events and current initiatives in the Sanitation Division! Information on the other divisions (Engineering & GIS, Field Services, Building Inspection, and Facilities) is also included.  download (15).png Facebook    download (11).jpg Instagram

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Rethink, Refuse, Reduce

1. Donating Surplus Food
2. Avoid Surplus Food in the First Place


The most powerful step toward a greener future begins with rethinking our habits. By learning to say no to unnecessary items, minimizing our use of disposable products, and actively reducing waste, we can make a significant impact on our planet's health. It all starts with our choices. 

Donating Surplus Food

Rather than throwing away surplus food, consider donating it to a local food bank or charity pantry! There are a few places to donate food in Manchester, and you'll be helping those in need. Be sure to call or visit their website prior to donating to find information on hours, location, and items accepted. Locations to donate food include:

  • MACC Charities: All products must be unopened and within expiration dates. MACC accepts all donations during hours of operation. 
  • Salvation Army: Accept donations of non-perishable, unopened and non-expired food items of any kind. Canned goods with a “pop top” style lid are preferred. Grocery store gift cards to purchase fresh dairy, produce and protein items to supplement the pantry are also welcomed. 


Avoid Surplus Food in the First Place

To prevent food waste when grocery shopping, plan your meals, stick to your shopping list, and check your pantry before heading to the store. Be selective when buying perishable items and make use of leftovers for future meals.

When dining out, order portion sizes that match your appetite, and don't hesitate to ask about portion sizes. If you can't finish your meal, request a takeout container to avoid waste. Consider sharing appetizers and be mindful of side dishes to prevent overordering. 


Click here to go to the EPA website to learn more about preventing wasted food at home.

Click here for info on the FoodKeeper App, which helps you understand food storage and maximize freshness.

Click here to go to the FDA's website for tips on reducing food waste in the store, at home, and in a prep kitchen. 


1. Manchester Furniture Rehome Program
2. Local Tool Rental Opportunities, Repair Shops, Thrift Stores and Donation Bins
3. Reusing Bags
4. Local Tag Sale Events & Online Platforms 


Don't toss it, fix it! When your items break or tear, there are repair services and tool rental places ready to help. And if you no longer need a functioning item, consider selling, giving away, or donating it to extend its life. When you're in need, think about buying something used—let's make the most of what we have and reduce waste together!

Manchester Furniture Rehome Program

Introducing the Manchester Furniture Rehome Program, an initiative dedicated to fostering a culture of generosity and sustainability. This program invites residents to contribute to the well-being of their neighbors by donating gently used furniture items. From lamps that to sturdy tables, chairs, bed frames, and dressers, the focus is on essential pieces that enhance the quality of life for those in need. Storage unit located at the Manchester Transfer Station.

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Local Tool Rental Opportunities, Repair Shops, Thrift Stores, and Donation Bins

Manchester offers an array of tool and equipment rental spots, saving you the hassle of buying items you only need occasionally. These rental services provide access to a wide range of tools and equipment, making it easy and cost-effective to tackle your projects without the commitment of ownership.

Manchester is also home to a variety of repair shops that specialize in reviving cherished items such as...

  • Jewelry
  • Bikes
  • Shoes
  • Appliances
  • Electronics

There are clothing/book donation bins and secondhand stores located all throughout town, so consider taking unwanted used clothing or books to these places for reuse. Find below an interactive map of places around town to donate items such as clothing, furniture, and books.

Reusing Bags

Reusable bags help minimize the use of single-use plastic bags, which can take hundreds of years to decompose and contribute to pollution and harm to wildlife. By opting for reusable bags, we can significantly reduce plastic waste and conserve valuable resources. Reusing disposable bags, on the other hand, extends their lifespan and reduces the overall demand for new bags, further minimizing our ecological footprint. If you're unsure what to do with extra paper bags, MACC Charities is a Manchester-based organization that accepts paper bag donations.

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Local Tag Sale Events & Online Platforms

Local Tag Sales:

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- South United Methodist Church Trash & Treasures Fair: Residents can donate specific used items (no clothing, textbooks, or large items) that will be sold during a one-day event. Usually takes place in the end of May/beginning of June. 

Click here to go to the South United Methodist Church website where more details may be posted prior to the event. 


- Manchester Women's Club Townwide Tag Sale: Residents can sign-up to be included in a one-day event where everyone has tag sales at their homes. There is a $20 fee to participate, and the proceeds go towards a Scholarship fund. Usually takes place in the beginning of June. 

Click here to go to the Manchester Women's Club Events page where more details may be posted prior to the event.


- Parish of St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Bridget Church Unique Boutique: Residents can donate specific used items that will be sold over a three-day event. Usually takes place in the end of August. 

Click here to go to the St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish website, where more details may be posted prior to the event. 


- Manchester Land Conservation Trust: The Manchester Land Trust usually has 2 big tag sales: May and September. And most years a "mini" tag sale (2 or 3 days) in December, and occasionally a one-day Halloween sale!

Click here to go to the Manchester Land Conservation Trust Events page for more details. 


Online Platforms for Buying/Selling Used Items:

  • Craigslist
  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • Facebook Marketplace 



1. What is Wish-Cycling?
2. Residential Recycling Collection
3. Recycling at Transfer Station
4. Recycling of Plastic Film


Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials (that would otherwise be thrown away as trash) and remanufacturing them into new products (US EPA). This sustainable practice helps conserve natural resources, reduce energy consumption, and minimize environmental impacts, making it a crucial element in our efforts to protect the planet. Check out the Recycle Right video, below, for information on what happens to your recyclables and more!

What is Wish-Cycling?

When it rains, look for rainbows. When it's dark, look for stars. And when in the dark about recycling, use the Recycle CT wizard.

Wish-cycling is a term used to describe when people put items in the recycling bin without knowing if they're actually recyclable. This leads to problems like contamination and higher costs in the recycling process. To avoid wish-cycling, use the search wizard on RecycleCT's webpage, and when in doubt, throw it out!

Note: If your recycling is collected by All American Waste (also known as USA Recycling), then your recyclables will go to a sorting facility that can handle black plastic! So feel free to recycle those take-out containers!!


Residential Recycling Collection

Residential Collection

The Town of Manchester offers curbside collection of single-stream recycling to many of its residents. Curbside recycling promotes sustainability, reduces landfill waste, and encourages environmentally responsible practices within our community. The Town of Manchester is offering a FREE second recycling bin to the residents that we serve. Visit the Residential Recycling Collection webpage to learn more!

Residential Recycling Collection

Recycling at Transfer Station

Transfer Station

What you'll find when you visit the Manchester Transfer Station is that nearly the entire right side is dedicated to recycling! Check out the StoryMap on the Transfer Station's webpage to find out what items can be recycled there.

Manchester Transfer Station

Electronic Waste Recycling

Electronic Waste

Electronic waste is just one of the many waste streams that we recycle at the Transfer Station. There are also several options available at local retailers to recycle certain types of electronics:

Best Buy (Manchester)
Staples (Glastonbury/Vernon)
Green Monster eRecycling (West Hartford)

Recycling of Plastic Film


Plastic bags and plastic film DO NOT belong in single-stream recycling because they can get caught in the sorting equipment. To recycle your plastic bags and plastic film, visit the How2Recycle webpage to find a drop-off location near you.


What To Do With Shredded Paper

After paper is shredded, it can no longer be recycled. This is because the strips of paper are too small. For a more sustainable approach to managing shredded paper, donate it to the Lutz Children's Museum where it will be used as animal bedding!

Lutz Children's Museum


1. Compost Pledge
2. Home Composting
3. Town of Manchester Food Waste Drop-Off Pilot Program
4. Community Garden Compost Initiative 
5. Blue Earth Residential Food Waste Pick-Up


Composting is a form of recycling that specifically deals with organic waste. It involves the natural decomposition of items like food scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich soil. This process not only reduces landfill waste but also creates valuable compost for soil enrichment, making it a sustainable practice within the broader recycling framework. 

Compost Pledge

Join us in making a positive impact on our environment by signing the Compost Pledge today and commit to reducing waste, enriching our soil, and creating a greener community. Together, we can turn food scraps into energy and fertile soil, one compost bin at a time. #LoveManchesterLiveGreen. Compost Pledge sign up coming soon!


Home Composting 

CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the US Environmental Protection Agency have great information on composting at home. Follow the links below to learn more about the benefits of composting at home, how to begin, required materials, and maintenance.

CT DEEP Turning Your Spoils to Soil

US EPA Composting at Home

Every Spring, the Town of Manchester organizes a compost bin and rain barrel sale. Visit for more information. 

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Composting not only enriches the soil, but it also reduces soil erosion, helps retain moisture for less water use, suppresses disease and pests, reduces greenhouse emissions, and minimizes landfill waste which helps save the environment. If you're interested in taking action to reduce waste and help the environment, sign the Town of Manchester compost pledge!

Town of Manchester Food Waste Drop-Off Pilot Program

The journey from food scraps to energy and nutrient-rich soil through composting begins with the collection of kitchen waste. These scraps are transported to a composting facility where they undergo a carefully managed decomposition process. This process generates biogas, primarily methane and carbon dioxide, which is captured and used as a renewable energy source. Simultaneously, the composting process creates nutrient-rich compost, a valuable soil conditioner that enhances soil structure, water retention, and nutrient content, promoting healthier plant growth and reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.


As we strive to reduce our carbon footprint and promote a greener, more sustainable future in Manchester, we're proud to present the Food Waste Drop-Off Pilot Program. Here's how it works:

Sign Up and Get Started: Interested town residents will have the opportunity to sign up for the program, taking a proactive step towards reducing food waste and its impact on the environment. Registration information coming soon!

Collection Pail Distribution: Upon registration, participants will have the option to receive a dedicated collection pail. Residents can use this pail to collect and transport food waste, making it easier than ever to do your part. Most spoiled/leftover food will be accepted, with more specific details to come once the program begins. 

Drop-Off Locations: We'll set up four strategically located drop-off points throughout the town to maximize accessibility. You'll be able to find our enclosures at Whiton Library, the Senior Center, Mt. Nebo Park, and the Transfer Station.

Sustainable Transformation: Your food waste will not go to waste. All collected organic materials will be transported to a facility where they'll undergo the composting process. The exciting part? The gas produced during composting will be captured and converted into energy.

Convenient and Secure Access: Each drop-off location will be equipped with enclosures for the food waste. Access to these units is as simple as a tap on your smartphone. Just download the app, and you'll be able to unlock the enclosures effortlessly. If you're not keen on using the app, you can always visit the Transfer Station to personally deliver your food waste.

Community Garden Compost Initiative

The Town of Manchester is preparing to launch a Community Garden Compost Initiative where residents can drop their food waste off at the Spruce Street Community Garden from March through October. More details on accepted types of food waste coming soon.


Blue Earth Residential Food Waste Pick-Up

Residents also have the option to sign up for Blue Earth's Residential Food Waste Pick-Up Program: turning kitchen scraps into compost. Pay for food waste pick-up and receive nutrient-rich compost delivery in return. Blue Earth's Residential Food Waste Pick-Up Program is not affiliated with the Town of Manchester. 

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Click here to go to the Blue Earth Compost webpage to learn more about the program. 

Frequently Asked Questions: