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Waste Management

Electronic Waste (E-Waste)

E-Waste is a common term used to describe electronic equipment that has reached or is nearing the end of its useful life or equipment that is no longer needed.  E-Waste may contain toxic chemicals such as lead or mercury and may not be disposed of in the trash.  E-Waste includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

  • Alarm Clocks
  • Camcorders
  • CD Players
  • Cell Phones
  • Computers/CPUs/Laptops
  • Computer Monitors (CRTs)
  • Copiers (home use)
  • Digital Cameras
  • Digital Thermometers
  • DVD Players
  • iPods/MP3 Players
  • Microwave ovens
  • Pagers
  • PDAs
  • Printers/Scanner/Fax Machines (home use)
  • Radios – all types (home & car)
  • Telephones & Answering Machines
  • Televisions (CRTs & flat screens)/VCRs
  • Video Game Consoles & Accessories
  • Walkie Talkies/Two-Way Radios

  How do I Properly Dispose of E-Waste?

  • Curbside Collection Program:
    Mission Viejo residents may have their E-Waste collected by the City’s trash hauler, Waste Management of Orange County, as part of the bulky item collection program.  Please contact Waste Management at (949) 642-1191 or the Mission Viejo Public Works Department at (949) 470-3010 to learn more.

  • Collection Centers:
    For residents that would prefer to take their E-Waste to a collection center, there are four household hazardous waste collection centers located in the County of Orange that accept E-Waste.  These centers are operated by the County and are free to county residents.  The centers are open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  They are closed on major holidays and rainy days.

  •  Goodwill Industries:
    There are two Goodwill locations in Mission Viejo that accept electronic waste, working or not.  For more information or to find a location near you go to www.ocgoodwill.org.

Household Hazardous Waste

Household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be household hazardous waste.  These items pose a risk to the environment and cannot be thrown in the household trash.  Household hazardous waste includes items such as paints, antifreeze, pool chemicals, cleaners, used motor oil and filters, batteries, pesticides, sharps/needles, and e-waste.

How do I Properly Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste?  

Mission Viejo residents have two ways to safely and properly dispose of household hazardous waste:

  • Door-to-Door Collection Program  

Through its trash hauler, Mission Viejo offers a door-to-door program for the collection of household hazardous waste.  This service is offered one time per year per residence.  To schedule an appointment to have your household hazardous waste collected, please contact WM Curbside at 1-800-HHW-PKUP (449-7587).

  • Orange County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers

For residents that would prefer to take their household hazardous waste to a collection center, there are four centers located in the County of Orange.  These centers are operated by the County and are free to county residents.  The centers are open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  They are closed on major holidays and rainy days.  Locations are listed below.

6411 Oak Canyon

 San Juan Capistrano 
32250 La Pata Avenue
(Located at Prima Deshecha Landfill)

10171 North Blue Gum Street

 Huntington Beach
17121 Nichols Street

For more information about items accepted at County household hazardous waste collection centers, please call (714) 834-6752 or visit www.oclandfills.com.

Bulky Item Collection

Mission Viejo’s trash hauler provides bulky item collection service to residents FREE of charge on their regular trash collection day.  With this service, residents may place up to five large items at the curb for collection three times per year at no additional charge.  Bulky waste includes furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, and other similar items.  Bulky waste does not include items such as car bodies and construction and demolition waste. 

 To schedule a FREE bulky item pick up, please contact Waste Management at (949) 642-1191.  Please schedule the collection service 48 hours in advance of trash day.

Home Composting

Composting is often defined as nature’s way of recycling organic waste, because the biological process breaks down organic material into nutrient-rich fertilizer or soil amendment, which is returned back to the Earth to feed our plants and gardens. Organic waste includes items such as food scraps, leaves, twigs, grass trimmings, paper, and coffee grounds.

The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, and as a natural pesticide for soil. Composting also helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. Waste that is landfilled not only takes up valuable space but it also releases methane gas, which is responsible for climate change.

Only a few easy-to-find ingredients are necessary for backyard composting, so why not give it a try? You will be helping the environment and your garden. To learn more, watch MVTV Healthy Mission: Backyard Composting.

The following Recipe for Backyard Composting is from CalRecycle’s Backyard Composting webpage.


While a multitude of organisms, fungus and bacteria are involved in the overall process, there are four basic ingredients for composting: nitrogen, carbon, water, and air. The easiest compost recipe calls for blending roughly equal parts of green or wet material (which is high in nitrogen) and brown or dry material (which is high in carbon). Simply layer or mix these materials in a pile or enclosure; chop or shred large pieces to 12" or shorter. Water and fluff the compost to add air. Then leave it to the microorganisms, which will break down the material over time.


Green materials such as grass clippings and landscape trimmings are ideal sources of nitrogen for composting. Vegetable and fruit trimmings and peels can also provide nitrogen for composting. Coffee grounds and tea bags may look brown, but are actually potent nitrogen sources. To reduce the potential for pests or odors, avoid meat or dairy scraps and always bury food scraps deep within the compost pile. Avoid pet feces due to concerns about pathogens. However, manure from chickens, turkeys, cows or horses is rich in nitrogen and can help your compost pile get to proper temperatures and make very good compost.


Brown (dry) yard and garden material such as dry leaves, twigs, hay, or shredded paper can provide the carbon balance for a compost pile. Chop or shred large pieces to 12 inches or shorter (thick, woody branches should be chipped, ground up, or left out). Untreated wood chips and sawdust are a powerful carbon source, which may be useful if the pile contains excess nitrogen.


One of the most common mistakes in composting is letting the pile get too dry. Your compost pile should be as moist as a wrung-out sponge. A moisture content of 40 to 60 percent is preferable. To test for adequate moisture, reach into your compost pile and grab a handful of material and squeeze it. If a few drops of water come out, it's probably got enough moisture; if it doesn't, add water. When you water, it is best to put a hose into the pile so that you aren't just wetting the top. You can also water as you are turning the pile. During dry weather, you may have to add water regularly. During wet weather, you may need to cover your pile. A properly constructed compost pile will drain excess water and not become soggy.


The bacteria and fungus that are in your compost pile need oxygen to live. If your pile is too dense or becomes too wet, the air supply to the inside is cut off and the beneficial organisms will die. Decomposition will slow and an offensive odor may arise. To avoid this, turn and fluff the pile with a pitchfork often, perhaps weekly. You can also turn the pile by just re-piling it into a new pile. Wash hands after handling compost or use gloves.


Ideally, the compost pile should be at least three feet wide by three feet deep by three feet tall (one cubic yard). This size provides enough food and insulation for the organisms to live. However, piles can be larger or smaller and work just fine if managed well.

Green/Yard Waste

The following items should be placed in your green waste cart.  Place green waste loosely in the cart; do not use plastic bags:

  •  Food waste/scraps
  •  Leaves and weeds
  •  Tree branches
  •  Shrub trimmings
  •  Garden trimmings
  •  Sawdust, wood chips, and small wood scraps

 Do not place the following items listed below in your green waste cart:

  •  Plastic bags
  •  Pet waste
  •  Palm fronds
  •  Soil/dirt
  •  Tree stumps
  •  Painted/treated wood

 Note:  Green waste carts are available at no charge.  Cart size can also be changed.  Green waste service may not be available in all areas. Contact customer service at (949) 642-1191 for more information.

Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling Program

The City of Mission Viejo implemented a Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Recycling Program (Ordinance No. 04-225) to divert C&D material from California landfills and to assist the City in achieving diversion requirements mandated by Assembly Bill 939.  This program requires that 75% of C&D waste generated at “covered projects” in the City be diverted from landfill disposal through reuse and recycling.  C&D material typically consists of waste generated during construction, renovation, or demolition of buildings, pavements, or other structures.

The information below provides detailed information about the City of Mission Viejo’s C&D Program including the forms and reports necessary to comply with the ordinance.

Sharps Disposal Programs

Disposal by Mail Program

Beginning on September 1, 2008, State law (Section 118286 of the California Health and Safety Code) makes it illegal to dispose of sharps waste (such as hypodermic needles, lancets, and test strips) in the trash or recycling containers and requires that all sharps waste be transported to a collection center in an approved sharps container.

In Mission Viejo alone, residents with diabetes and other medical conditions use thousands of needles every day as part of treatment for chronic medical conditions.  To address this issue, the City of Mission Viejo and Waste Management have taken prompt action by implementing a convenient Sharps Disposal by Mail Program for residents of the city.  The Sharps Disposal by Mail Program provides individuals with a safe and convenient way to dispose of used sharps.  Each disposal kit includes a specially designed sharps container and a postage-prepaid shipping container.  Used sharps are placed inside the container for safe storage. When full, the container is closed, bagged, and sealed inside its original packaging.  Residents then return the postage pre-paid box to their mail carrier or nearest post office.

Residents interested in participating in the program can obtain a Sharps Disposal by Mail container at the following locations in Mission Viejo:

  •  Walgreens
    27785 Santa Margarita Parkway
    (949) 830-2011

  •  Walgreens 
    25533 Marguerite Parkway
    (949) 707-0494

  •  CVS
    26851 Trabuco Road
    (949) 581-5990

  •  CVS
    28781 Los Alisos Blvd
    (949) 595-0501

  •  CVS
    25272 Marguerite Parkway
    (949) 581-9120

Residents will need to show proof of residency through a state-issued identification, driver license, or utility bill.  All Mission Viejo residents can receive one free sharps container with postage and return box per year.  Additional containers can be purchased each year for a $5 co-pay.  For more information, contact Denise Matson at 470-3010.

 Disposal Containers Available at Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center

Mission Viejo recognizes the fact that many residents may need to self-inject medication or check blood sugar levels while away from home.  If sharps are placed in the trash, this could pose a serious health risk for employees or visitors at the community and senior center.  For this reason, Sharps Disposal containers have been installed in the restrooms at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center.  Residents attending functions at the center will now have a safe method of disposing of their sharps.