Friday, October 17, 2014

Costa Mesa Sanitary District "Organics" Program Delayed

In a press release from General Manager Scott Carroll today, the Costa Mesa Sanitary District announced the delay in implementation of their new "Organics Recycling" program, originally scheduled to be implemented early next year.

Here is the complete text of that press release:

(Costa Mesa, CA) – Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) officials recently learned that the construction time frame of CR&R’s anaerobic digestion facility in Perris, California has been extended due to the complex nature of the facility. This type of facility has never been constructed in California, so the owner, CR&R Environmental Services, and its contractors are ensuring it is done the right way. “We didn’t want to distribute the organics carts to everyone and then learn that the digester was not constructed properly,” said Jim Ferryman, CMSD Board President.

The anaerobic digester is state of the art technology that will convert green waste and food scraps into renewable natural gas. CMSD is the first agency in Southern California to enter into an agreement with CR&R to provide an organics recycling program to its residents. CMSD’s decision to provide an organics recycling program is pertinent now that Governor Brown signed AB 1594 into law which mandates that green waste used as Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) at landfills will no longer receive diversion credits effective January 1, 2020.

State law requires local agencies to divert 50 percent of solid waste away from landfills. Many agencies will not meet the 50 percent mandate when ADC is no longer receiving diversion credits unless they find other means for disposing their green waste. Officials believe that CMSD will be able to divert close to 75 percent of its solid waste away from landfills as a result of the organics recycling program. Roll out of the organic carts are expected to begin by the end of June 2015 and will take approximately eight weeks to complete. Pictures of the construction of CR&R’s anaerobic digester can be found on the “Media” page of CMSD’s website at

So, this is a "good news, bad news" story.  The good news part is that you don't have to worry about a new method of sorting your rubbish.  The bad news is that there has been a delay in the implementation in this state-of-the-art process.  

Carroll told me that the CMSD is working on more public outreach on this program, which may include a video presentation available to anyone interested as the implementation date draws near.  Right now that looks like mid-2015.  

So, just keep on throwing all your rubbish, tree clippings, bones, fat - all of it - into those carts you have in your garage or beside it and don't worry about it for a few more months.  If you have questions contact Carroll at the Costa Mesa Sanitary District at 949-645-8400 or email him at

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