What do I do with...

If you are unsure of how to dispose of an item, consult the list below for local agencies and businesses that recycle, haul, or accept usable and unusable goods.



U.S. Flags that are worn, faded, or damaged can be respectfully disposed of in a drop box just outside the entrance of CMSD’s headquarters, located at 290 Paularino Avenue, Costa Mesa. Flags will be collected and retired by a local Boy Scout troop.


If it still works and is less than 8 years old, consider donating it to a thrift store or the Orange County Habitat for Humanity ReStore - (714) 434- 6266 / 2140 Ritchey St., Santa Ana. If it no longer works, CMSD solid waste customers can contact CR&R at (949) 645-8400 to have it collected as part of the Large Item Collection Program.


If you suspect that a property you own contains asbestos, please contact a licensed asbestos abatement professional. While there are serious health risks associated with asbestos, this material is not accepted for disposal through the District or the Orange County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Programs.


All batteries types can be collected curbside through the Door-to-Door Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. Call CR&R at (949) 646-4617 to schedule a pickup.

To learn more about the importance of proper battery disposal and how batteries are recycled, read this article.

Household batteries can also be dropped off at the following locations: (*Please place tape over terminals to prevent fires)

Auto/Marine Batteries can be dropped off at the following locations: 
  • Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility - (714) 834-4000 Various Locations. NOTE: Large commercial truck batteries not accepted.
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts - (949) 642-3384 1739 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa
  • Firestone Auto Care - (949) 646-2444 475 E 17th St., Costa Mesa


OCC Recycling Center - (714) 432-5131 - On Adams Ave. between Harbor Blvd. and Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa 


  • OCC Recycling Center - (714) 432-5131 - On Adams Ave. between Harbor Blvd. and Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa
  • Consider donating used books to a local Thrift Store.


OCC Recycling Center - (714) 432-5131 - On Adams Ave. between Harbor Blvd. and Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa

You can return your used cell phone to distributors such as:

  • AT&T – (949) 764-0021 - 298 E 17th St. Unit C, Costa Mesa
  • AT&T – (714) 432-0900 – 2800 Harbor Blvd. Ste C, Costa Mesa
  • Sprint Store – (714) 437-7460 - 3030 Harbor Blvd. Ste H2, Costa Mesa
  • T-Mobile – (949) 554-0630 – 2300 Habor Blvd. Ste N3, Costa Mesa
  • T-Mobile – (949) 646-1934 – 299 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa
  • Verizon – (949) 515-4202 – 2300 Harbor Blvd. Ste L2, Costa Mesa
  • Verizon – (714) 427-0733 – 901 S. Coast Dr. Building K Ste120, Costa Mesa

You can also donate your phone to the following causes:

  • 911 Cell Phone Bank provides emergency cell phones to law enforcement and affiliated victim services agencies. For more information, visit 911 Cell Phone Bank.
  • Cell Phones For Soldiers provides deployed and returning troops a cost-free method to communicate with their families while serving in the military. For more information, visit Cell Phones For Soldiers.
  • HopeLine from Verizon collects and distributes cell phones to victims of domestic abuse. For more information, visit Verizon's Hopeline.



Construction and demolition debris includes materials like asphalt, concrete, brick/masonry/tile, dirt, carpet, drywall, flooring, rebar, and tires. These materials are NOT accepted through the District's curbside collection and recycling programs. Orange County Waste & Recycling maintains a list of waste haulers that accept these materials.


Gently Used
  • Orange County Habitat for Humanity ReStore (714) 434-6266 - 2140 Ritchey Street, Santa Ana
  • Certain types of furniture are also accepted at thrift stores.
  • If you are interested in hosting a garage sale, please see this Guide to Preparing for a Garage Sale.
Unusable Furniture

  • Some dry cleaners will take back hangers and reuse them. Check with your dry cleaner. 
  • Hangers can also be donated to thrift stores.
  • Otherwise, place metal and plastic hangers in your trash container and they will be recycled at CR&R's Material Recovery Facility.


  • Office Depot - (949) 724-8500 - 2747 Campus Drive, Irvine
  • Staples - (949) 548-4955 - 241 E 17th St., Costa Mesa


Cooking Oil
  • Used cooking oil can be placed in your Organics Recycling Cart, along with food waste and green waste. CR&R recycles these items into nutrient-rich compost and renewable natural gas.
  • OCC Recycling Center- (714) 432-5131 On Adams Ave. between Harbor Blvd. and Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa
Motor Oil and Filters

  • Mail Boxes and More - (949) 544-1616 - 2618 San Miguel Dr., Newport Beach

Recycle or dispose of paint at the following Costa Mesa stores:
  • Dunn-Edwards - (949) 548-0105 - 1835 Newport Blvd.
  • Dunn-Edwards - (714) 432-8745 - 3015 Bristol St.
  • Sherwin-Williams - (714) 241-8667 - 2338 Harbor Blvd.
  • Vista Paint - (714) 540-8282 - 2931 Bristol St.

  • Recycle plastic grocery bags at your local grocery or drug store, including:
  • Albertsons - (949) 515-7227 - 2300 C Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa
  • Vons - (714) 751-4270 - 2701-B Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa
  • Stater Bros - (714) 437-0754 - 1175-C Baker St., Costa Mesa
  • Target - (714) 979-0372 - 3030 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa



The following Costa Mesa businesses will accept your tires for a nominal disposal fee:
  • Just Tires (714) 557-8000 - 3005 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa
  • Big O Tires (949-642-4131 - 322 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa

Gently Used
  • Orange County Habitat for Humanity ReStore (714) 434-6266 - 2140 Ritchey Street, Santa Ana
  • Some are also accepted at thrift stores.

Unwanted trophies can be donated to local thrift stores. As with any donated item, it is best to call ahead to confirm that they are accepted prior to drop-off.

Curbside Large Item Collection Program is available for CMSD solid waste customers. Call CR&R at (949) 646-4617 to schedule a pickup.

 Didn't find what you were looking for?
Visit the Orange County Recycling Guide for more disposal resources.

CMSD does not endorse any of the businesses listed on this webpage.