woman placing vegetable peels in recycling containerOrganics Recycling Program

Launched in June of 2015, the Costa Mesa Sanitary District's (CMSD) Organics Recycling Program was the first residential program of its kind in Southern California. This program allows CMSD customers to recycle organic waste like yard trimmings (green waste) and food scraps by simply placing them in a curbside Organics Recycling Cart for weekly pickup. Once collected, the organic materials 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 and the RNG is used to fuel the trash collection fleet.

 Accepted:  Not accepted:
trash container
Green Waste
  • Grass clippings
  • Flowers and leaves
  • Prunings and weeds
Food Waste
  • Bread, grains, rice
  • Coffee grounds, tea and filters
  • Dairy products (cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt)
  • FOG (fats, oil, and grease)
  • Food-soiled paper (used 100% paper goods, such as plates, cups, napkins, and pizza boxes not coated with wax or plastic)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat and seafood
  • Liners & bags: brown paper & compostable bags, newspaper sheets
  • Snack foods (chips, nuts, crackers)
trash container
  • Bones from meat and fish
  • Compostable foodware (plates, cups, utensils, etc.)
  • Food wrappers and packaging
  • Non-organic materials: plastic, glass, metal, aluminum, tin, Styrofoam, cardboard, etc.
  • Palm fronds
  • Pet waste
  • Wax or plastic-coated paper products (plates, cups, utensils, milk/juice containers, fast food and to-go containers, etc.)
While some of these materials are organic, they should not be placed in the Organics Recycling Cart because they are not easily broken down during the anaerobic digestion process and they do not add nutritional value to the resulting natural gas and compost. Instead, place them in the Mixed Waste Cart.

Additional Resources

Questions or Requests?

If you have any trash related questions or requests, please use the following resources:

  • For service requests, such as reporting a missed pickup or requesting a large item pickup, please submit a request online.
  • To find answers to commonly asked questions, please visit our Organics Recycling FAQs page.
  • If you're unable to find an answer to your question, please contact District staff at (949) 645-8400 during our business hours or email us.