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What Goes Where

With the help of residents we are working together to reduce waste. Learn if your item can be recycled, put in the organics bin, or put in the garbage bin.

On the move but need a sorting guide? View the PDF version of the Waste Diversion Guide and/or download the Rethink Waste App.


Yard waste and food waste (like cooking oils, tea, and coffee grounds) belong in the Organics. Items that do not belong in organics include pet waste, diapers, plastic bags and milk jugs.

What Goes In & What Stays Out

What Goes in the Organics Cart? See full list (various translations):

Another way to reduce waste is to compost organic material.


Put aerosol cans, plastic products, paper products and metal products in Reycling. Do not put styrofoam, glass jars and bottles, plastic bags, or small propane tanks in the Recycling.

What Goes In & What Stays Out

Aerosol cans, plastic containers, paper products and metal products go in the recyclingStyrofoam, glass, propane tanks and plastic bags do not go in the reyclcling cart

What goes in the Recycling Cart? See full list (various translations):

Household Hazardous Waste

​Batteries, electronics, sharps and other hazardous materials require special handling. Please visit the Regeneration website, the Recycling Council of BC website, or call the recycling hotline at 604-RECYCLE (604-732-9253) for information about the proper disposal procedure and a facility near you.

Tree Branch Collection Program (Surrey Residents only)

  • Cost is $25.00 per 1.5 metres x 1.5 metres (5ft x 5ft) pile (length of branches does not matter)
  • Branches should be neatly piled on City boulevard with butt ends toward road
  • Branches must be less than 20 centimetres (8”) in diameter
  • No stumps are permitted

Call 604-591-4340 for service.

Kitchen Catchers

To make cleaning easier, kitchen catchers can be lined with newspaper, paper towel, or kraft paper bags. Kraft paper bags can be purchased in packages of 10 for $1.00 at participating City Recreation Facilities. Plastic or compostable bags are not permitted.

For more information regarding kitchen catchers, please call our Waste Collection Hotline at 604-590-7289.


The City of Surrey is actively checking recycling carts for contamination. Below are the reasons why we need stop recycling contamination, what it means if you get a contamination notice, and how to avoid contamination in the future.

Impacts of contamination

Placing unacceptable materials in the recycling cart negatively impacts the recycling process as they must be removed at the processing facility. If the recycling stream is contaminated with unacceptable material this may result in:

  • Recyclable material may be rejected and sent to landfill which eliminates the benefit that can be derived from recycling material.
  • Safety issues for collection and post collection staff (if hazardous waste is involved).
  • Higher cost and financial penalties which may impact utilities costs.

For information on how and where to dispose of these items, please visit the Metro Vancouver Recycles website.

Contamination Notices

If your recycling cart is contaminated with unacceptable materials, you may get one of two notices:

  • Recycling Contamination Warning Notice (Red): this means there were unacceptable items found in your recycling cart. Further placement of unacceptable items will result in your recycling cart not being collected.
  • Recycling Cart Contamination "No Collection" (Yellow): this means your cart will not be serviced due to high volumes of unacceptable items. Please remove the contaminants for the following recycling week to ensure collection.


Ensure your recycling is collected

To ensure that you receive weekly recycling service, please only place acceptable materials in your cart and recycle acceptable depot items at your nearest recycling facility.

Getting Ready to Recycle

1. Know what goes in
2. Remove lids
3. Rinse containers
4. Flatten Materials
5. Make sure your materials are sortable

  • Place items loose in the cart (do not put them in a plastic bag first)
  • Drop containers in one by one (stacked containers are hard to separate at the facility)

Be aware that unsortable material refers to material that may otherwise be accepted and recyclable, but has been placed in collection containers or plastic bags in a manner that does not allow the material to be recycled. For example, recyclables in plastic bags (such as grocery bags) or different types cans/cartons are nested together (e.g. a metal can inside a plastic tub). When materials are received in this matter, they can’t be recycled.

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