Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Handling and storage of animal by-products

If you store animal by-product waste for routine collection, you must keep it separated from other waste and store each category separately. See the page in this guideline: Animal by-product categories.

Animal by-product waste must be stored in clean, sealed, leak-proof containers. Label all containers with the category of the material as follows:

  • category 3 material - not for human consumption
  • category 2 material - not for animal consumption
  • category 1 material - for disposal only

You must not store animal by-products where they could contaminate other foodstuffs or be exposed to animals or wild birds.

Use authorised waste carriers

Check that you are using an individual or business authorised by:

  • the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland
  • Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in Scotland

for the storage, processing, treatment or disposal of animal by-product waste.

DAERA: List of Approved Premises and Operators

Scottish Government: Animal by-products registered and approved premises

Make sure that you complete a commercial document, recording the transfer of animal by-product waste. A commercial document is different from a waste transfer note or hazardous waste consignment note.

DAERA: Animal by-products guidance (Northern Ireland)

Animal and Plant Health Agency: Transport documents and records (Scotland)

Record the date that the animal by-products were removed, a description of the material, and the name and address of the waste carrier and the receiver of the waste.

Keep a copy of all documents for at least two years. You may need to show them during an inspection.

Clean and disinfect containers after each waste collection.

Have an emergency plan, eg to avoid destroying large quantities of animal by-products because of a freezer breakdown or product recall.

You must not send to landfill any packaging that is significantly contaminated with animal by-product material, e.g. bloodstains. You must dispose of it as an animal by-product.

Food waste

In Northern Ireland, 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

In Scotland you should discuss with your waste contractor the services that they will offer for the collection of food waste. 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 (more than 50kg) from 1 January 2014 and small producers (more than 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.

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 .

Scottish Government: Duty of Care  - A Code of Practice

Further information

Find your nearest waste site

In this Guideline

What are animal by-products?

Categories of animal by-products

Disposing of animal by-products

Animal carcass disposal

Disposing of food waste and catering waste

Transporting animal by-products

Handling and storage of animal by-products

Animal by-products and food waste environmental legislation

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