Costa Mesa Sanitary District Shares Waste Separation Tips in Compliance with CA Senate Bill 1383

As residents and businesses across California are doing their part to reduce environmental pollutants, Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) is proud to provide clear guidelines for waste separation that allow customers to quickly and easily reduce their impact on the environment.

As of January 1, 2022, California residents are required to separate their organic waste due to California’s Senate Bill (SB) 1383. This bill aims to reduce statewide disposal of organic waste by 75% by 2025. With over 100 billion pounds of food ending up in landfills across the United States each year, food waste is a critical climate change issue. Once in landfills, food scraps decompose and produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is 84 times more potent of a pollutant than CO2. The decomposition of organic waste makes up about 20% of the state’s methane emissions–contributing to significant environmental issues. 

As communities across the state are working together to meet the new organic waste reduction goals, residents and businesses play a key role in reducing environmental pollutants. By following the clear instructions laid out by CMSD, customers can easily determine how to separate their organic waste to ensure that it is recycled.

Organics Recycling Cart:

Mixed Waste Cart:

  • Coffee grounds, tea & filters
  • Compostable & brown paper bags
  • Cooking oil & grease
  • Dairy & bread
  • Food-soiled paper
  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Meat & seafood
  • Snack foods (chips, nuts, crackers)
  • Flowers & leaves
  • Grass clippings 
  • Prunings & weeds
  • Aluminum cans & other metal
  • Cardboard
  • Clean paper & wax or plastic-coated paper 
  • Food wrappers & packaging
  • Glass
  • Meat & fish bones
  • Palm fronds
  • Pet waste
  • Plastic
  • Styrofoam

Once collected, materials in the organics cart are converted into compost and renewable natural gas (RNG) through state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion technology. The resulting compost is given away to residents through an annual Compost Giveaway event. The RNG is used to fuel the trash collection fleet so no resources go to waste.

Residents should note that while bones, pet waste and palm fronds are organic, they should be placed in the Mixed Waste Cart instead of the Organics Recycling Cart. These materials are not easily broken down during the anaerobic digestion process and they do not add nutritional value to the resulting natural gas and compost. All mixed waste is sorted for recycling at CR&R's Materials Recovery Facility in Stanton, CA. The facility uses manual and mechanical sorting to keep the maximum amount of recyclable materials that become new products and packaging out of landfills. Residents can learn more about the Organics Recycling Program at  

Residents and businesses play an important role in reducing the amount of environmental pollutants that come from landfills. By following the simple waste separation guidelines laid out by CMSD, customers can take action against climate change and positively impact the health and futures of communities in Orange County. 

For more information about SB 1383, visit and follow CMSD on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn for more updates on waste sorting and sustainability.