Trash & Recycling FAQs
Does the District recycle?
Yes, the District recycles over 60% of the waste collected. Currently, solid waste customers use a 2-cart system that includes a Mixed Waste Cart for recyclables and landfill waste and an Organics Cart for green waste and food scraps. The contents of the Mixed Waste Cart are manually and mechanically sorted at CR&R’s Materials Recovery Facility to recover recyclables, while organic waste is taken to CR&R’s Anaerobic Digestion Facility to be recycled into compost and renewable natural gas used to fuel CR&R’s collection fleet. In the fall of 2024, the District will transition to a 3-cart system that will include a Recycling, Organics, and Trash Cart. Learn more about the upcoming changes at www.cmsdca.gov/3carts.
How am I billed for trash service?
CMSD's customers pay for their solid waste and wastewater services through their property tax bill. Solid waste and wastewater fees appear on the property tax bill as special assessments. These special assessments do not impact the property value. To view your property tax bill, visit the Orange County Property Tax website.
How much does my trash service cost?
How many trash carts are included in my service?
Standard service includes up to two 64-gallon Mixed Waste Carts and up to two 64-gallon Organics Recycling Carts per residential unit. Additional carts can be requested for an extra cost of $9.00 per month, per cart.
What can I put in my trash carts?
Mixed Waste Carts
- Accepted: plastic, glass, aluminum, tin, clean paper, cardboard, Styrofoam, and miscellaneous landfill waste
- Not accepted: yard and food waste
- Accepted: grass, leaves, weeds, prunings, flowers, small branches, fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, bread, dairy, coffee grounds/filters/tea bags, cooking fats/oils/grease, food-soiled paper products (napkins, paper towels, greasy pizza box, etc.), and brown paper or compostable bags
- Not accepted: palm fronds, bones from meat and fish, food wrappers and packaging, pet waste, wax or plastic-coated paper products (milk/juice cartons, fast food/to-go containers, etc.), compostable foodware (plates, cups, utensils, etc.), non-organic materials (plastic, glass, metals, Styrofoam, cardboard, etc.)
Where do I place my trash cans on collection day?
Containers should be placed curbside no later than 6:00 a.m. on collection day. Containers must be placed side-by-side approximately 1 foot apart and at least 3 feet from any obstruction (i.e. fire hydrant, cars, trees, etc.). Containers should be placed with the handles and wheels facing away from the street and toward the home. Containers should be taken in within 12 hours of collection service. Items not in containers will not be collected.
Does the District collect all of Costa Mesa's trash?
No. The Costa Mesa Sanitary District collects and recycles residential trash from single family residences and small multi-family residences (with 4 units or less). The City of Costa Mesa is responsible for the collection and recycling of trash from larger multi-family residences and businesses. For information about multi-family and business trash collection, please visit the City of Costa Mesa's website.
How do I transfer trash collection service to my name?
CMSD collects its solid waste fees as special assessments on your property tax bill. The property owner receives the property tax bill, so there is no need to transfer services upon moving in or out of a property. When a property is sold, the property tax bill is automatically transferred to the new owner.
What is considered hazardous waste?
The following materials are considered hazardous waste and must not be placed in your trash carts:
Motor oil, motor oil filters, paints and solvents, transmission fluid, gasoline, medical waste (e.g. hypodermic needles), batteries, anti-freeze, pesticides and herbicides, cleaners (e.g. spot removers, oven cleaner, etc), and e-waste (e.g. electronic devices, televisions, computers, fluorescent lamps and tubes, etc.). These items can be picked up curbside FREE of charge through the District' Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program.
Can I have Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collected at my curbside?
Yes. CMSD sponsors a FREE HHW Collection Program for all CMSD solid waste customers. Call CR&R Customer Service at (949) 646-4617 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to schedule a pickup or place a pickup request online.
Where can I drop off sharps and medications for disposal?
Sharps: CMSD solid waste customers can have sharps collected doorside by scheduling a Household Hazardous Waste pickup. OC residents can also drop off sharps at any of the OC Household Hazardous Collection Centers.
Medications: CMSD no longer has a drop box for the disposal of non-controlled medications. Please visit our Medication Disposal webpage for alternative disposal locations and methods.
Can I request an additional trash can?
Yes. Additional cans cost $9.00 a month per can. Please contact CR&R at (949) 646-4617 to request an additional trash can.
What happened to the larger 90-gallon trash carts?
CMSD discontinued 90-gallon trash carts in 2015 when we rolled out the Organics Recycling Program. Those who had these larger trash carts prior to 2015 can continue to use them, but we no longer offer replacement if they are broken. Instead, a broken 90-gallon cart will be replaced with a 64-gallon cart.
Despite the smaller size of the new carts, CMSD actually INCREASED the total available space for disposal! Before 2015, our standard trash collection service included up to two 90-gallon carts (for a total of 180 gallons). In 2015, standard service was modified to include up to two 64-gallon Mixed Waste Carts AND up to two 64-gallon Organics Carts (for a total of 256 gallons). This updated arrangement allows residents more space for yard and food waste to help encourage better recycling habits!
We understand that some customers may have grown accustomed to the 90-gallon carts and/or may have special waste collection needs. If you’d like more information about how you can use up to 256 gallons of cart space and how you can take advantage of our numerous Special Collection Programs, please visit our Curbside Collection webpage or contact us.
Which holidays result in trash collection delays?
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- 4th of July
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Where can I redeem recyclables for California Redemption Value (CRV)?
The Orange Coast College Recycling Center buys back CRV beverage containers. For more information, pelase visit our OCC Recycling Center webpage.
Someone illegally dumped large items on the side of the road. How can I report this and have them picked up?
Items that are dumped in the public right-of-way should be reported to the City of Costa Mesa at (714) 754-5000 or at www.costamesaca.gov/mycostamesa. CMSD solid waste customers can have large items collected curbside in front of their own property for free through the Large Item Collection Program.