We have carried out 1mm/3mm continuum and 12CO(2−1) line high resolution observations to identify the footprints of AGN feedback on 3C 236. The CO emission comes from a spatially resolved disk characterized by a regular rotating pattern. Within the limits imposed by the sensitivity and velocity coverage of our data, we do not detect any outflow signatures in the cold molecular gas. Re-inspection of optical and IR spectra, shows the presence of a previously unknown ionized gas outflow. The star-formation efficiency in 3C 236, is consistent with the value measured in normal galaxies, which follow the canonical Kennicutt-Schmidt law. This result, confirmed to hold in other young radio sources examined in this work, is in stark contrast with the factor of 10–50 lower SFE that has been claimed to characterize evolved powerful radio galaxies. The recent reactivation of the AGN in 3C 236 is a likely explanation for the early evolutionary status of its molecular disk.