Organics Frequently Asked Questions

It is our goal to provide excellent customer service and transparent answers to all questions. If your question does not appear below, please contact us directly.


  • Where can I pick up a kitchen pail?

    Kitchen pails are available to residents FREE of charge at District Headquarters located at 290 Paularino Ave, Costa Mesa. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, and every other Friday from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

  • Can I be exempt from this program?

    Residents can request an exemption by submitting a letter justifying their request. Please send all correspondence to District Headquarters at 290 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626. For more information, visit our Organics Recycling Exemptions webpage. Requests will be reviewed and responded to by District staff.

  • Can I request an additional Organics Cart?

    Yes, residents can request one (1) additional Organics Cart for a total of two (2) Organics Carts FREE of charge by calling CR&R Customer Service at (949) 646-4617.

  • Can I replace a Mixed Waste Cart with an additional Organics Cart?

    Yes, residents can replace one (1) Mixed Waste Cart with an Organics Cart FREE of charge by calling CR&R Customer Service at (949) 646-4617.

  • How big is the Organics Cart?

    The standard Organics Cart size is 64-gallons.

  • Can I request a smaller Organics Cart?

    Yes, residents can request a 35-gallon Organics Cart. To schedule a cart replacement, please call CR&R Customer Service at (949) 646-4617.

  • What can I place in my Organics Cart?

    Green waste (also known as yard waste), food scraps, and compostable materials can be placed in the Organics Cart. Green waste includes leaves, grass, weeds, flowers, trimmings, prunings, and small branches. Food scraps include fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, bread, coffee grounds, tea, cooking oil, and grease. Additionally, any items that are certified as compostable can be placed in the Organics Cart, including compostable bags.

  • Can I put bones, pet waste, palm fronds, or plastic bags in the Organics Recycling Cart?

    No. Bones, pet waste, palm fronds, and plastic bags are contaminants of organic waste and they hinder organic waste from being recycled into natural gas and compost. Please dispose of these materials in your Mixed Waste Cart..

  • How can I eliminate odor problems?

    Residents can dispose of their organics in a compostable bag or line their kitchen pails with newspaper to help with odor problems. Baking soda can also be added to organic waste to help absorb odors. During hot summer months, food waste can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer until collection day to avoid leaving organics in the heat.

Additionally, please see the questions asked during our 2015 Town Hall Meeting regarding the Organics Recycling Program:

pdf Organics FAQs from the Town Hall Meeting