OC Waste & Recycling serves the County’s solid waste disposal needs by providing waste management services, operating public landfills, protecting the local environment, investing in renewable energy enterprises and promoting recycling in order to ensure a safe and healthy community for current and future generations.
The department manages one of the nation's premier solid waste disposal systems, serving residents and businesses in the County’s 34 cities and unincorporated areas. Our three active landfills reflect environmental engineering at its best. They are among the largest in the state and annually receive more than 4 million tons of solid waste.
These state-of-the-art facilities—Olinda Alpha Landfill near Brea, Frank R Bowerman Landfill near Irvine and Prima Deshecha Landfill next to San Juan Capistrano—take pride in being good neighbors. The landfills use sanitary and environmentally friendly operational methods and have earned many awards for their modern management techniques, regulatory compliance and environmental practices. These practices include noise reduction and visual screening techniques, natural habitat planting and re-seeding, the use of falcons and hawks to reduce the number of scavenger birds, and weed abatement provided by real goats.
Our Renewable Energy Program manages the beneficial reuse of landfill gas through power-generation partnerships that produce 380,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually.
We also manage and monitor 20 closed landfills and former disposal stations throughout the County.
To serve the public directly, the department also operates four Household Hazardous Waste Collection Centers, one each in Irvine, Anaheim, Huntington Beach and San Juan Capistrano. The centers are free of charge to Orange County residents. These centers provide a convenient way for County residents to dispose of household hazardous waste, including common household chemicals and electronic waste such as computer monitors and game consoles.
In support of the imperative to increase recycling and diversion, the department focuses heavily on outreach and education, targeting youth and the general public in OC. We partner with the Discovery Cube to provide the award-winning Eco Challenge Exhibit and curricular programs that challenge learners to adopt new, sustainable behaviors. Discovery Cube education programs reach more than 7,000 Orange County students each year. Another education partner, Inside the Outdoors, engages students in the design and implementation of classroom and school-wide recycling programs through its Project Zero Waste. Project Zero Waste reaches more than 40,000 students each year. A partnership with Angels Baseball helps promote the Eco Challenge Exhibit and related education programs.