District 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.

  • Who governs CMSD?

    CMSD is governed by an elected five-member Board of Directors. To learn more about our Board of Directors, visit our Board of Directors page.  

  • Where does CMSD get its funding?

    Solid waste and wastewater collection fees are collected on the property tax bill as special assessments. To view your property tax bill, visit the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector website.

  • Is CMSD part of the City of Costa Mesa or the City of Newport Beach?

    No, CMSD is a separate public agency. We are an independent special district that was formed in 1944 under the Sanitary District Act of 1923.

  • What is an independent special district?

    Independent special districts are a form of local government that is created by a community to provide a limited number of designated functions, such as water, parks, fire protection and solid waste and wastewater collection. They operate under a locally elected Board of Directors that oversees district functions.

  • How was CMSD formed?

    Prior to the incorporation of the City of Costa Mesa in 1953, local community members disposed of their trash in a landfill that was owned and operated by the City of Newport Beach. As the landfill began to near capacity, permission to use the site was limited to Newport Beach residents only. Out of concern for their community’s health and safety, residents of what is now Costa Mesa filed a petition with the Orange County Board of Supervisors on June 22, 1943 to establish CMSD under the provisions of California’s Health and Safety Code. On December 21, 1943, the Board of Supervisors approved of CMSD’s boundaries and ordered special elections to be held on February 8, 1944 to officially form CMSD and elect its first five-member Board of Directors..

  • What is CMSD’s service area?

    CMSD provides solid waste (trash) and wastewater (sewer) collection services to the city of Costa Mesa, as well as small portions of the city of Newport Beach and unincorporated Orange County. To view our service area, visit our Service Area Map.