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Waste Collection and Recycling

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The Public Services Department oversees all waste collection and recycling services except residential waste collection services, which is administered by the Costa Mesa Sanitary District. The City’s services include administration of the non-exclusive Waste Hauler Franchise for the provision of temporary and recurring multi-family (5 or more units) and commercial properties waste collection and recycling services. The Department also monitors the Contractor Self-Haul permittees and construction and demolition waste diversion and reporting activities. The Department also provides oversight of the implementation and monitoring of the City’s compliance with solid waste and recycling mandates and legislation, including the following:

  • Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989
  • AB 939, State law to Recycle at least 50% of all trash generated
  • AB 341, Mandatory Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling
  • AB 1826, Mandatory Organics Commercial and Multi-Family Recycling

Residential & Commercial Services

Temporary Bin Rentals/Public Right-of-Way (ROW) Permits: All temporary waste bin or roll-off bins are administered by the City of Costa Mesa. A $40 permit is required prior to placing a temporary waste bin in the street or public ROW and provides a two-week permitted time frame to store the bin. A permit is not required for waste bins placed on private property. A temporary dumpster permit can be obtained by the following:

A permit can also be obtained at the Public Services Permit Counter (4th Floor) of City Hall.

Residential Waste Collection & Recycling: The Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) administers the residential and multi-family (4 or less units) curbside waste collection and recycling services for the City of Costa Mesa. The current waste collection services provider is CR&R. Information regarding household hazardous waste, pharmaceutical waste, and sharps waste disposal is available on the CMSD’s website. For more information regarding residential waste collection and recycling programs, please see below:

Commercial & Multi-Family (5 or more units) Waste Collection and Recycling: The City of Costa Mesa administers a non-exclusive Waste Hauler Franchise that permits for-hire waste haulers to provide recurring and temporary waste collection and recycling services to commercial and multi-family properties:

How to Haul Waste in Costa Mesa?

The City of Costa Mesa permits three types of waste hauling: for-hire or franchise waste hauling, contractor self-haul activity, and hauling by property owners. See below for quick references on the best option for your firm:

For-Hire or Franchise Waste Hauler: The City of Costa Mesa administers a non-exclusive Waste Hauler Franchise that permits for-hire waste haulers to provide recurring and temporary waste collection and recycling services to commercial and multi-family properties. The City permits waste haulers in its Franchise annually and once permitted, the Municipal Code requirements serve as the agreement between the City and the waste hauler. A summary of the fees required is outlined below:

 Fee Type
 Annual Franchise Waste Hauler Permit and Franchise Fees
 Permit Fee
 Nonrefundable Pre-Payment of Franchise Fees
 Percentage of Revenue from Gross Receipts

Contractor Self-Haul: Contractor self-haul is the ability for contractors to haul the materials they generate, from their primary business activity, generally at a lower cost than a third-party waste hauler. This annual Permit is a comparatively abbreviated process that requires a $200 annual permit fee, permit application, a list of vehicles that will haul material in the City or a copy of applicable vehicle rental agreement, and general and automobile liability insurance and required endorsements.

Contractors permitted to self-haul are required to report on a per-project (building permit) basis regarding waste diversion and recycling information.

For a list of current permitted self-haulers, please contact Public Services at (714) 754-5323.

Property Owners:

The City of Costa Mesa permits property owners to self-haul their waste without paying fees or obtaining a permit.

Construction and Demolition (Building Permit) Projects

The California Green Building Standards Code, 2016 Edition, California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 11, impacting waste diversion as documented in the City of Costa Mesa’s Municipal Code Chapter 4 of Title 8, requires that all construction and demolition related projects divert 65% of project waste generated from the landfill. Consequently, permitted building projects relating to construction and demolition – newly constructed buildings, additions, alterations, interior and exterior demolitions, etc. – are required to divert a minimum of 65% of nonhazardous construction and demolition waste from the landfill by recycling, reuse, or salvage.  Generally, these materials include brick, drywall, other masonry, cardboard, green waste, paper, carpet, lumber, plastic, concrete, and/or metals. Asphalt, concrete, excavated soil and land-clearing debris should be 100% diverted from disposal.

In addition, the City of Costa Mesa requires that all hauling activity in Costa Mesa comply with one of the three hauling options referenced above. As a result, you have two overarching waste hauling options for your construction and demolition related project:

  • Use Franchise Waste Hauler
  • Self-Haul (Either as Property Owner or under Contractor Self-Haul Permit)

The County provides a suggested list (Approved Facilities) of locations that are meeting and/or exceeding the 65% diversion requirement and may be used for recycling construction and demolition material.

Use Franchise Waste Hauler Requirements:

  • Select list of Hauler from Franchise Waste Hauler List (see list referenced above)
  • No Waste Fees on Building Permit
  • Request selected Franchise Waste Hauler to recycle Construction and demolition material.
  • Prior to final building inspection, provide weight tickets and corresponding signed reporting form. This may be submitted online or provided to Public Services (4th Floor) at City Hall. NOTE: The form MUST be signed by the appropriate Franchise Waste Hauler representative. Failure to obtain signature or provide weight tickets may incur penalties and will delay the final building inspection.

Self-Haul – Contractor Self-Haul Permit/Property Owner (Owner/Builder) Requirements:

  • If you meet the requirements, your firm may apply for a Contractor Self-Haul Permit (see above requirements) or hire a firm that is already an approved self-haul contractor so long as the work they are only hauling the waste they are directly generating from their primary business activity. Permitted Self-Haul Contractors
    • Please see below for some examples of firms that qualify:
      • Reroof or a roof tear off company that self-hauls the roofing material they directly remove. If the tear off is subcontracted to another company that also hauls the material away, then that firm will need to become permitted.
      • Demolition contractor that self-hauls the demolition material generated by the demolition.
  • Whether you are self-hauling as a property owner or are a permitted self-haul contractor, a nonrefundable per-project fee is assessed when the building permit is issued that is calculated based on the below matrix:
 Project Valuation
 Projects of $20,000 or less:
 $160 flat fee
 Projects of $20,001 to $100,000:
 $160 fee, plus $3 for each additional $1,000 in value above $20,000, or fraction thereof, up to and including $100,000
 Projects of $100,001 to $500,000:

 $400 fee, plus $2 for every $1000 in value above $100,000 or fraction thereof, up to and including $500,000

 Project valued at or greater than $500,001:
 $960 fee, plus $0.50 for every $1,000 in value above $500,000, or fraction thereof
  • Ensure 65% waste diversion requirement is achieved for overall project
  • Prior to final building inspection, provide weight tickets via corresponding reporting form (Link). This may be submitted online or provided to Public Services (4th Floor) at City Hall. NOTE: The 65% diversion rate must be met and substantiated by corresponding weight tickets or penalties for noncompliance may be incurred and will delay the final building inspection.

Noncompliance penalties:

  • Failure to use a permitted waste hauler is a fine of $1,000, or 3% of the total project value, whichever is greater.
  • Two times the per-project fee for failure to achieve a 65% diversion rate or provide substantiation that the maximum solid waste possible was diverted from the landfill.
  • Three-times the per-project fee for failure of an approved self-haul contractor to submit required weight tickets and diversion reporting form.

Bin Confiscation Program:

The City recently modified the Costa Mesa Municipal Code to include a bin confiscation program that will effectively deter illegal hauling activity in the City. Bins that are illegally placed and unauthorized may result in bin confiscation. Prior to confiscation, a 48-hour notice is placed on any illegally placed or unauthorized container. If the container at issue is not removed within this 48-hour period, the contracted hauler is then authorized to remove the container and dump its content at its designated facility and will be subject to a City administrative fee, an impound fee, and disposal fee not-to-exceed $1,000. If the owner or firm incurs a second violation, the illegally-placed container will be subject to a 24-hour notice.