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Organics: How the Program Works

New Rethink Waste Organics Collection Program for Apartment Buildings

The City of Surrey is pleased to introduce the Rethink Waste Organics Collection Program to apartment buildings. 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).

How the Program Works

Each building unit has been provided with a 7 litre kitchen catcher. Residents can use this to separate organic waste indoors and reduce the number of trips to the organics cart (stored in the building's garbage and recycling area).

To make cleaning easier, kitchen catchers can be lined with paper food waste bags or newspapers - plastic or compostable bags are not permitted as they're not accepted in the organics cart. Kraft paper bags can be purchased in packages of 10 for $1.00 at participating City Recreation Facilities.

Alternatively, you can line your kitchen catcher with newspaper or paper towels, or place organic material directly into the kitchen catcher.

How to fold a newspaper liner for your kitchen catcher

 Newspaper Liner Instructions

For a list of acceptable Organic material, please download our "What Goes In" list:

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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.

Download our Organics Poster to display in your lobby or by your building's organics carts.


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.

Translated Waste Diversion Guides