Costa Mesa Sanitary District Approves Agreement to Implement Three-Cart Curbside Collection Program

On January 23, 2023, Costa Mesa Sanitary District’s (CMSD) Board of Directors approved an amendment to the solid waste agreement with CR&R Incorporated, establishing a residential Three-Cart Curbside Collection Program. Along with the black trash and green organics carts customers already use, CR&R will deliver a blue recycling cart to every CMSD trash customer by October 1, 2024. 

This recent amendment is one step among many in CMSD’s compliance with Senate Bill (SB) 1383—legislation which requires California cities to provide organic waste collection services to all residents and businesses. CMSD has been working to educate customers on how to sort their household waste as part of a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants.

SB 1383 requires anyone using a two-cart system to transition to a source-separated three-cart system or to deliver waste to a “high-diversion” facility. Currently, CMSD has a two-cart system where recyclables are separated from landfilled waste at a local Materials Recovery Facility. However, SB 1383 would require the facility to be upgraded in order to remain in compliance. The CMSD Board determined that upgrading the waste hauler’s facility is cost-prohibitive and decided to instead move forward with a three-cart system. CMSD’s new system is customer friendly, increases diversion from landfills, promotes source separation and will meet State regulatory requirements. 

"We are thrilled to finally be moving forward with our three-cart system. The system will not only make waste disposal more convenient and efficient, but will divert more waste from landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to achieve our goal of a more sustainable future," said CMSD Board President Michael Scheafer. "Our goal is to make the transition to the three-cart system as seamless as possible for our customers and promote sustainable waste management practices.”

By October 1, 2024, CR&R will deliver a blue cart to every CMSD trash customer to accept recyclables.

This new three-cart system will utilize the following guidelines:

  1. Landfill Cart (Black Lid) - The existing Mixed Waste cart will be relabeled to “Landfill Only” and accept items that must be landfilled such as broken glass, styrofoam, soiled diapers, toothpaste tubes, latex gloves and other designated materials.
  2. Recycling Cart (Blue Lid) - The Recycling Cart will be designated for recyclables such as clean paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum and tin cans, and plastic. 
  3. Organics Cart (Green Lid) - The Organics Cart will continue to be used for food waste, compostable and brown paper bags, cooking oil and grease, food-soiled paper, coffee grounds, tea, coffee filters and yard waste. Yard waste materials include grass clippings, leaves, flowers, prunings and weeds. 
In addition to the delivery of new blue lid carts, CR&R will also provide an organics cart to all previously organics-exempt homes to accept green waste and food scraps, per State requirements. CMSD will provide additional outreach to those who received new organics carts and will continue to educate customers on how to sort their waste. The existing Large Item and Household Hazardous Waste collection programs will continue as well as CMSD’s annual compost giveaway event for customers.

Annual fee adjustments will be limited to Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation, capped at a maximum of 5% each year. As part of the amendment, CR&R will provide extensive auditing, monitoring and reporting of contamination as required by SB 1383. CMSD will ensure that all practices uphold its commitment to providing the highest quality of waste management services while promoting sustainability and reducing environmental impacts. 

CMSD will be sharing more information regarding the new three-cart system leading up to its launch in fall 2024. To read the full amendment, visit To download the amendment, select "Current Agreement" and "2023 First Amendment to Solid Waste Agreement." For more information about SB 1383, please visit