Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Disposing of food waste and catering waste

Disposing of food waste and catering wastefood waste

When food of animal origin is no longer intended for human consumption it becomes an animal by-product. This may be when produce is removed from sale because it has passed its sell by or use by date, or because of damage, soiling or contamination to the produce or its packaging.

What you must do

Catering waste

Catering waste is waste food from restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens. Catering waste which contains animal by-products includes:

  • cooked or processed meat and fish
  • bakery products containing meat, fish or dairy products
  • cooking oil that has been used for cooking meat or fish.

At present, catering waste can go directly to landfill for disposal. It can also be sent to an approved composting or biogas facility.

Landfills cannot accept liquid waste so you should collect used cooking oil, store it in suitable containers and have it removed by an authorised waste carrier. Most used cooking oil is used to make biodiesel or is incinerated to generate electricity.

Catering waste does not include 'former foodstuffs' from retailers or food manufacturers.

In Scotland, if you process, prepare or sell food and produce more than 5kg of food waste a week, in an urban area, you will be required to separate that food waste from the rest of the waste you produce for separate collection. This applies to large producers (>50kg) from 1 January 2014 and small producers (>5kg) from 1 January 2016. This duty does not apply to businesses in rural areas or those producing less than 5 kg of food waste per week.

Scottish Government: Duty of care: A code of practice

SEPA has produced new guidance which sets out its expectations across the food waste supply chain in order to prevent waste and achieve high quality recycling

New SEPA Guidance: Food waste management in Scotland

New duties for food businesses in Northern Ireland

If you are a food business and produce more than 5kg of food waste per week (roughly one kitchen caddy full) you will be required to separate that food waste from the rest of your waste for separate collection.

NIEA: Duty of Care – A Code of Practice

NIEA: Food waste – Are you compliant?

Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

International catering waste is classed as a Category 1 Animal By-Product and therefore requires specialist management. See the page in this guideline: Disposing of animal by-products.

Duty of care for waste

Former foodstuffs

Former foodstuffs are foods of animal origin, or foods that contain products of animal origin, that are no longer intended for human consumption. This includes food that is waste due to manufacturing or packaging defects. Former foodstuffs do not include catering waste from restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens.

Waste from a factory that produces cooked meat is not catering waste - it is former foodstuff (category 3 animal by-product).

You must dispose of category 3 animal by-products at approved premises, by rendering or incineration, or disposal at an approved biogas or composting plant. Generally, you cannot send category 3 animal by-products to landfill.

Raw meat or fish must not be sent to landfill.

Category 3 animal by-products include:

  • raw meat, fish and eggs
  • cooked meat and fish
  • meat and fish products that require cooking before consumption
  • catering waste other than international catering waste

See the page in this guideline: Animal by-product categories

In Scotland, if you process, prepare or sell food and produce more than 5kg of food waste a week, in an urban area, you will be required to separate that food waste from the rest of the waste you produce for separate collection. This applies to large producers (>50kg) from 1 January 2014 and small producers (>5kg) from 1 January 2016. This duty does not apply to businesses in rural areas or those producing less than 5 kg of food waste per week.

Scottish Government: Duty of care: A code of practice

New duties for food businesses in Northern Ireland

Food waste

If your business produces more than 50kg of food waste per week, you are required to have separate collection of that waste. From the 1st April 2017 this requirement also applies to businesses producing more than 5kg and up to 50 kg of food waste per week. There is no requirement for food businesses which produce less than 5kg of food waste, to collect it separately. From the 1 April 2017 food waste must not be deposited in a lateral drain or public sewer. The legislation does not apply to householders.

NIEA: Duty of Care – A Code of Practice

Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

DAERA: Guidance - the Food Waste Regulations

NIEA: Duty of Care – A Code of Practice

Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

International catering waste is classed as a Category 1 Animal By-Product and therefore requires specialist management. See the page in this guideline: Disposing of animal by-products.

The use of macerators to dispose of food waste in the sewer system will be banned from 1 January 2016, except for domestic premises and food waste producers in rural areas.

Duty of care for waste

International catering waste from ships and planes

International catering waste is waste food from aircraft and ships that have called at airports or ports outside the European Union. It is classed as high risk material (category 1 animal by-product). You must dispose of it by incineration, rendering or burial in an approved landfill site.

You can read about international catering waste on the Defra website.

Defra: International catering waste

Further information

GOV.UK: Guidance for the Animal By-product industry

DAERA: Animal by-products guidance (Northern Ireland)

Scottish Government: Animal by-products

SEPA Guidance: Food waste management in Scotland

Return to Animal By-Products landing page

Whats new on NetRegs

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.

    https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/waste-duty-care-responsibilities

  • NetRegs:- FREE, ANONYMOUS, PLAIN ENGLISH GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES

  • EIA (Agriculture) Regulations for Northern Ireland

    Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

    Read more on the DAERA website

  • Guidance from your environmental regulator

    Regulator logos

  • 9 NEW GPPs (Guidance for Pollution Prevention) available now

    The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics

  • New guidance

    New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects

    http://www.netregs.org.uk/environmental-topics/environmental-management/first-steps-guidance-for-new-starts-projects-and-charities/

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!

Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms