Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

New duties for Food businesses in Northern Ireland

A food business is any business that carries out activities related to the processing, distribution, preparation or sale of food. This includes:

  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Shopping and food courts
  • Canteens
  • Hotels
  • Pubs that serve food
  • Shops that serve food
  • Supermarkets
  • Schools and colleges
  • Prisons, nursing homes and hospitals.

If you are a food business then you must be prepared to present food waste for separate collection:

  • by 1 April 2016 for large producers
  • by 1 April 2017 for small producers and Health and Social Care trusts.

You are a large producer if you regularly produce more than 50kg of food waste per week.

You are a small producer if you regularly produce between 5kg and 50kg of food waste per week.

(A 120 litre bin holds approximately 60kg of food waste)

Exempt businesses

Your businesses are exempt from the regulations if:

  • You produce less than 5kg of food waste per week
  • You deal with catering waste that has arisen from international transport. International is a Category 1 Animal By-product and therefore requires specialist management.

(5kg is roughly equivalent to a full domestic kitchen caddy)

There is a prohibition on the landfilling of separately collected food waste from 1 April 2015. The regulations also introduce a duty on businesses to ensure food waste is not deposited in a lateral drain or sewer from 1 April 2017.

Further Information

NIEA: Duty of Care – A Code of Practice

NIEA: Regulatory position statement – Food Waste Guidance

DOENI: Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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