Three waste carts at the curb

Learn how to sort your waste and recycling.

The City of Surrey checks individual recycling carts for unacceptable items which can cause contamination. To ensure pick-up, place only acceptable materials in your recycling cart.

Placing unacceptable materials in your recycling cart pollutes Surrey’s recycling stream, increases the amount of loads rejected, creates more risks for workers, and leads to the City incurring financial penalties which may impact annual waste collection utility rates. 

With your help, we can reduce the waste we send to landfills and reduce the impact on our environment. Let’s work together to reduce recycling contamination, which occurs when non-acceptable items are placed in the recycling cart. 

A contaminated cart can result in non-pickup.

Waste Wizard

Recycling Cart

Accepted items that can go in the City of Surrey’s blue carts:

  • Paper (newspaper, flyers, magazines, envelopes) but no books
  • Cartons (milk, juice, ice cream)
  • Cardboard (flattened)
  • Plastic food containers (muffins, berries, pre-packaged meals, etc.)
  • Plastic bottles (water, pop, etc.)
  • Plastic tubs/containers (yoghurt, ice cream, laundry detergent)
  • Plastic jars (jams, sauces, soaps, etc.)
  • Plastic jugs (milk, water, juice)
  • Tin cans (tuna, tomatoes, lentils) 
  • Empty aerosol spray cans 

Not on the list? Use our Waste Wizard below, or download our app.

Items not accepted and how to sort them correctly:

Recycling Depot

  • Plastic bags
  • Film plastics (Ziplock bags, overwrap on paper towels, etc.)
  • Batteries
  • Candy wrappers, chips bags
  • Electronics or small appliances (toasters, fans, cables, extension cords, etc.)
  • Glass jars

Reuse, Donate and Sell

  • Books
  • Clothing in good condition
  • Scrap metal in good condition (pots and pans, kettle, clothes hangers, etc.)

North Surrey Recycling and Waste Centre

  • Propane canisters


  • Clothing in poor condition
  • Garden hoses
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Tupperware containers
  • Scrap metal in poor condition (pots and pans, kettle, clothes hangers, etc.)

Not on the list? Use our Waste Wizard below, or download our app.

Organic Cart

Acceptable items:

  • Yard waste 
  • Food waste (like cooking oils, tea, and coffee grounds)

Non-acceptable items:

  • Pet waste
  • Diapers
  • Plastic bags
  • Milk jugs

Another way to reduce waste is to compost organic material

Garbage Cart

Only waste that cannot be recycled or composted goes in your garbage:

  • Broken glassware
  • Broken toys
  • Diapers
  • Garden hoses

Know Where to Go

Look up where to find proper disposal depots for non-organic or non-recyclable items.

Hazardous Waste

​Batteries, electronics, sharps and other hazardous materials require special handling.

Please visit Product Care Recycling's 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.

Hazardous materials graphic

Waste Sorting Guide

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

ReThink Waste 2021 Guide Cover

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