Solid Waste & Recycling

Keep Up the Good Work, La Mesa

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has acknowledged La Mesa’s accomplishment in continuing to exceed the State’s mandated 50 percent diversion rate. This means that more than 50 percent of everything that we are disposing of is being diverted away from our landfills and being reused, recycled, or in the case of some hazardous materials, disposed of properly and safely. This is the accumulation of years of hard work and a positive partnership between the city and you, the community.

Our work, however, is not finished! California law requires all cities and counties in the state to maintain the 50% diversion rate. We must continue to do the right thing and keep waste out of our landfills which are running low on space.

Organics Recycling is Here!

Organics recycling has been launched for all single family homes, multi-family homes, and commercial businesses in La Mesa! Comingled organics recycling began for La Mesa residents in single family homes on April 1, 2021.   For commercial businesses and multi-family residential dwellings, organics recycling began in early 2022   

Single-family households can order a FREE kitchen caddie to collect their food waste in on the EDCO website here.  Educational materials have been mailed to residents and are included in EDCO’s Environmental Times newsletter. For more information on what goes where, visit EDCO's recycling guide

As part of the City of La Mesa’s Climate Action Plan our community is working to divert 75% of our waste from the landfill through recycling, at home composting, donation, and eventually curbside commingled recycling. These efforts to reduce waste sent to the landfill will help La Mesa reduce emissions and benefit our environment.

Check out the two EDCO Videos below to learn more about the new Anaerobic Digester facility and how to "wrap your scraps" for the organics recycling program.

Free Self-Serve Community Mulch Pile

Community self-serve mulch is available for La Mesa residents throughout the dry months (generally May through October) at the Public Works Operations Yard located at 8152 Commercial Street. Bring a shovel, sturdy containers, or tarp if transporting in an open truck bed, and load your vehicle. Mulch is available on a first-come, first-serve basis until the pile is depleted.  The mulch pile will be periodically be replenished with new deliveries of mulch. The mulch is in front of the shed that is west of the fuel pumps outside the fence and is available every day of the week between dawn and dusk. Please be mindful not to block the street when loading your vehicle. 

Mulch is a mix of ground local yard waste and tree trimmings and is provided by La Mesa’s waste hauler, EDCO. Mulch helps build soil structure, inhibit weed growth, and conserve water by reducing evaporation. Mulch should be placed over soil in a depth of three to five inches around your plants. It should also be pulled away from tree and shrub trunks to reduce the chance of root rot. 

Recycling Styrofoam

You can now put polystyrene (Styrofoam) with other recyclables in your blue EDCO collection cart or dumpster! Packaging and clean food containers can be turned into new products like picture frames and garden pots. Packing peanuts are not included in the program but may be recycled at local mailing businesses.

Recycling Programs

La Mesa works closely with EDCO Waste and Recycling to provide convenient and effective recycling programs to benefit the community. Everyone in La Mesa has access to the program and the city’s mandatory recycling ordinance requires all properties and businesses to recycle. The program is comprised of the following services:

  • Curbside and Commercial Collection - This service is provided by EDCO and includes recyclables such as paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, all rigid plastics, Styrofoam, and green waste (separate container). Collection is provided throughout the week and some holidays result in a one-day delay. View the list of recyclable materials.   For commercial businesses, California Assembly Bill 827 requires businesses provide customers with visible, easily accessible recycling receptacles that are adjacent to trash receptacles with educational signage. Be sure to make updates to your trash and recycling receptacles before June 2020 to remain in compliance with this new requirement. 
  • Drop-Off at EDCO Station - EDCO Station accepts electronics, batteries, and medical sharps from residents, IMG_8665Styrofoam, and cooking fats, oils and grease (FOG) for drop-off, in addition to the recyclables included in the curbside program. Green waste is also accepted. EDCO Station is located at 8184 Commercial Street in the industrial district of La Mesa.
  • Household Hazardous Waste - Residents who have household hazardous waste (HHW), such as lithium-ion batteries, fluorescent lights, paint, chemicals, mercury devices (including thermometers), or electronics, can use the City’s household hazardous waste program.
  • Construction and Demolition Recycling - Recycling your construction and demolition materials saves you money because the cost of recycling is a fraction of what it is to use a landfill. La Mesa’s C & D ordinance requires 75% landfill diversion for certain projects and special recycling facilities are located around the county to accept this debris. 

More Resources and Programs

Use the regional search engine at WasteFreeSD for additional options for recycling materials.

Give cooking oil and grease a second life! Never pour fats, oils, and grease (FOG) down the drain, in your yard, or in the trash. You can now recycle used oil and grease at EDCO Station in La Mesa. Simply collect it in a leak-proof container and take it in when full. It will become biofuel to help clean up our air!

Regional Collaboration

San Diego Integrated Waste Management Technical Advisory Committee - The Integrated Waste Management Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) provides technical support and recommendations around integrated waste management and policy. TAC is composed of solid waste professionals from each city and the County, representatives of the private solid waste industry, business, and representatives of interested community organizations.Litter Free La Mesa Flyer 8.5 x11 all 2024 event dates

Litter Free La Mesa Volunteer Cleanup Events

Join the City of La Mesa and I Love a Clean San Diego for any of 6 yearly community cleanup events at various locations throughout La Mesa. Events are held from 9 AM - 11 AM on Saturdays. 2024 event dates are March 2, May 11, June 29, July 13, October 12, and November 16 at various locations throughout La Mesa. Due to limited space, registration is required. Register at


How can I dispose of water heater, broken sofa or other bulky items?

EDCO sends coupons to La Mesa residents twice a year (once in January, once in July) for a free disposal day. The only items not accepted are hazardous waste, wet garbage, tires, explosives, and business waste. Call the City at (619) 667-1102 or email for further information or clarification. For landfill information call (619) 562-0530. Bulky item pick-up is also available from EDCO for a small fee. Call (619) 287-7555.

How do I report a business or residence that doesn't have adequate organic waste service or recycling service?

Please email with an address and description of the issue. If possible, attach a photo of the issue to the email. The City Municipal Code section 7.030.040 requires that commercial businesses, including multi-family properties, must supply and allow access to an adequate number, size, and location of waste collection containers for trash (gray bin), recycling (blue bin), and organics (green bin).

What can I do about my neighbors' bad trash habits?

If they leave their trash carts on the street past collection day, set them out too early or let trash accumulate for weeks, call the City at (619) 667-1189 to report the problem.

Who do I call to complain about my trash service?

Call EDCO at (619) 287-7555. If your complaint is not handled to your satisfaction, call the City of La Mesa at (619) 667-1102.

What should I do if someone is taking items out of my recycling container before EDCO collects them?

Scavenging is illegal. You can deter scavenging by not setting your bin out until 6 a.m. on the day of collection. If this doesn't help, get a complete description of the person, the vehicle, and its plate number, if possible. Then call La Mesa Police Dept. at (619) 469-6111.

Who should I call to start trash/recycling services?

La Mesa has automated residential trash and yard waste collection as well as mandatory recycling. EDCO Disposal Corp. is the City's franchised contractor for the collection of trash, yard waste, and recyclables. Call EDCO at (619) 287-7555 or visit their website to sign up for service and obtain your automated carts and curbside recycling container.