Citizens Environmental Protection Academy


Ever wonder what happens to your trash after it gets picked up? How about the water that travels out of your faucets and down your drains? Join the Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) and partner agencies for our Citizens Environmental Protection Academy (CEPA) - a free series of presentations and tours that provide a behind-the-scenes look at how your trash, water, and wastewater are processed and recycled.

This year, CEPA premiered virtually on Earth Day. If you missed it, don't worry! You can still watch our CEPA video on CMSD's Facebook or YouTube. This video features subject matter experts from Orange County Waste & Recycling, CR&R Environmental Services, the City of Costa Mesa, Irvine Ranch Water District, Orange County Water District, and Orange County Sanitation District.

Watch & Win!swag giveaway items

You can win a FREE Sustainability Kit by taking a short, 12-question quiz to show off what you learned from CEPA! Our Sustainability Kit is sure to help you reduce single-use plastics and conserve resources with items like these:

  • Reusable metal straw & straw cleaner
  • Reusable mesh produce bag
  • Reusable freezer bag
  • Reusable on-the-go utensil
  • Plate scraper to collect food waste for recycling
  • Fats, Oils, & Grease collection funnel
  • Reusable water bottle (contributed by Mesa Water District)
  • Reusable grocery bag (contributed by Orange County Water District)
  • Reusable thermo tote bag (contributed by Orange County Waste & Recycling)
  • Eco-coloring book & crayons (contributed by Orange County Waste & Recycling)
  • Recycled water from the Groundwater Replenishment System (contributed by Orange County Water District)
  • Water-efficient hose spray nozzle (contributed by Irvine Ranch Water District)

Sustainability kits are available while supplies last, so don't miss out!

Your Local Providers:
Trash & Recycling
Costa Mesa Sanitary District Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) collects and recycles solid waste from single family residences and small multi-family residences (with 4 units and under) in Costa Mesa, as well as small portions of Newport Beach and unincorporated Orange County. CMSD contracts with private waste hauling company, CR&R Environmental Services, to collect and recycle residential solid waste. Those with dark green curbside trash carts labeled "CR&R" are CMSD solid waste customers.
City of Costa Mesa The City of Costa Mesa oversees solid waste collection and recycling for multi-family residences (with 5 or more units) and commercial properties through a variety of waste haulers that are permitted to operate within the city. Properties with dumpsters fall within the jurisdiction of the City rather than CMSD.
Orange County Waste & Recycling Orange County Waste & Recycling manages 3 active landfills and 20 closed landfills throughout the County. Waste from CMSD customers is taken to the Frank R. Bowerman Landfill located in Irvine.


  Water & Wastewater
Costa Mesa Sanitary District Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) collects wastewater from businesses and residences in Costa Mesa, as well as some parts of Newport Beach and unincorporated Orange County, through a 224-mile wastewater collection system.
Mesa Water District Mesa Water District provides clean drinking water to businesses and residences Costa Mesa, as well as some parts of Newport Beach and unincorporated Orange County, through a 317-mile water distribution system.
Irvine Ranch Water District Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) provides clean drinking water and collects and recycles wastewater from businesses and residents in Irvine, Tustin, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Orange, and Lake Forest. For upcoming IRWD tours and events, visit
Orange County Water District Orange County Water District manages the Santa Ana River, the Orange County Groundwater Basin, and the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), which provide a reliable water supply for over 2.5 million north and central Orange County residents. For information about upcoming virtual tours, visit
Orange County Sanitation District Orange County Sanitation District provides wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal services to about 2.6 million people in central and northwest Orange County. For information about upcoming virtual tours, visit

Questions? Contact us at (949) 645-8400 or email us.

Funding for the Citizens Environmental Protection Academy is provided, in part, by Orange County Waste & Recycling.