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Organic Waste

The City is committed to reaching goals such as reducing the waste we each generate and aspiring to recycle 80% of the region’s waste by 2020. These goals are set out in the City's Sustainability Charter and Metro Vancouver's Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan (ISWRMP). In order to help us reach these targets, we pick up organic waste from single-family and multi-family households every week according to the waste collection schedule.

Put all consumable food waste, food soiled paper and yard trimmings in your organics cart. You can still choose to do backyard composting with your yard waste to give nutrition to your garden, lawn and plants and boost your soil structure, but only put vegetable-type waste from your kitchen scraps in your compost. Putting other organic items in the compost may create pest and rodent issues.

Kitchen Catcher

Use your 7-litre kitchen catcher to separate your organic waste indoors and reduce your number of trips to your organics cart. To make cleaning easier, you may line your kitchen catcher with newspaper or brown paper bags. Kraft paper bags can be purchased in packages of 10 for $1.00 at participating City Recreation Facilities. Please do not use plastic or biodegradable/compostable bags as they are not accepted in the organics cart. Download instructions on creating a newspaper liner for your kitchen catcher:

Download kitchen catcher liner instructions

Helpful Tips

  • Wrap food scraps in newspaper, paper bags, paper towel, or place in cardboard boxes.
  • Line the bottom of your kitchen catcher with old newspaper, cardboard, or a brown paper bag.
  • Freeze your food scraps in a paper bag until collection day.
  • Sprinkle small amounts of baking soda over food waste if necessary to reduce odour.
  • Wash your kitchen catcher out periodically with mild soap or a vinegar-water solution.
  • Empty your kitchen catcher for collection each week, even if it is not completely full.

Organic Waste Process

  • We transport your organic waste materials to the Harvest Power Facility in Richmond.
  • Materials at the facility are unloaded and put into a compost pile, including the Kraft paper bags.
  • The compost process transforms the organics waste into soil using micro-organisms like bacteria and fungi to break down the organic materials.
  • For the compost process to work best, micro-organisms need a continuous supply of food (eg. organics), water and oxygen. Managing the temperature of the composting material is also important to make the process work.
  • Once the compost process is completed, the end material is a high-quality soil and mulch that is distributed throughout BC.

Branch Collection Program (for 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

For service, please call Engineering at 604-591-4340.


Try to avoid using garburators to dispose of your food scraps, as it puts extra pressure on City sewage systems and treatment plants, in addition to consuming energy and water each time it is used.

Putting food scraps such as bones and large volumes of starch down the drain can also cause blockages as these materials build up and dry within the pipes. Putting food waste into the organics cart ensures the organic material makes its way to a compost facility where it is properly managed.


Organics Cart Cleaning Tips

Keep your Organics cart clean by following these clean cart tips.

food scraps

What Goes In: Organics

Check out this funny, new video reminder from Metro Vancouver to keep plastics out of your green Organics Cart!



Learn to compost in 10 easy steps with your Earth Machine Composter and the City of Surrey.

Contamination Notices

Reminder to please refrain from putting plastics in your Organics Cart.