Separation of Food Waste - It's the Law

The Household Food Waste and BioWaste Regulations, 2013 were signed into law on 21st February 2013 and came into effect on 1st July 2013. This means that household food waste must now be separated from other forms of waste and as a householder; you must now demonstrate how this is managed.

 It is being implemented on a phased basis where food waste segregation must be rolled out in:

v  Populations over 25,000 people by 1st July 2013

v  Populations over 20,000 people by31st December 2013

v  Populations over 10,000 people by 1st July 2014

v  Populations over 1,500 people by 1st July 2015

v  Populations over 500 people by 1st July 2016

Why are these changes taking place?

Under the Landfill Directive, Ireland is no longer allowed to send biodegradable waste to landfill. This type of waste is food – both cooked and uncooked – and garden waste. When sent to a landfill, it breaks down and creates harmful gases such as methane which not only causes an odour nuisance but is harmful to the ozone layer which protects us from the dangerous effects of UV rays. The Regulations are part of a programme to tackle this issue and they complement the Commercial Food Waste Regulations which were introduced in 2009.

There are options available to you to manage this waste:

1.      Use a Brown Bin which can be obtained from your waste collector

2.      Use a Home Composting Bin which can be purchased from Offaly County Council or from hardware stores. Kitchen kaddies for your kitchen are also available.

3.      Bring your separated food waste to an authorized facility such as:

What’s in it for me?

The potential to save money!

Households in Ireland throw out up to €700 per annum on food waste. That is the same as putting this money directly into your bin.

Why should I use a Brown Bin?

You will no longer be able to put your food waste in to your general waste bin – IT’S THE LAW!

Ø  It saves money because it is cheaper to use than your general waste bin

Ø  It’s better for the environment

Ø  It produces a high quality compost

Where do I get a Brown Bin?

Contact your waste collector who will provide you with a brown bin. When emptied, it will be sent to a Composting plant where it produces high quality compost.

Can I use plastic bags?

No! Plastic bags will contaminate the composting process. You can use compostable bags which can be purchased from your local supermarket. Alternatively, you can wrap your food waste in newspapers and out it directly into your brown bin.

Should I leave my Brown Bin out for collection even if its not full?

YES! A waste collector must collect your bin every two weeks so you should leave it out on collection day. The longer food waste is left in the bin, the more odorous it becomes and the less productive in the composting plant.

I already home compost – can I still do this?

YES! Your home composting bin can still be used for uncooked vegetables and fruit; however it is not suitable for cooked foods or meats.

Tips for recycling food waste

ü  Keep your kitchen kaddy where it is easily accessible

ü  Line your kaddy with newspapers or cardboard to keep it clean

ü  If you prefer, you can use compostable bags

Raw/cooked food and meatPlastic bags or bottles
Fruit and vegetablesPackaging of any sort
Tea bags/coffee grinds & paper filtersNappies
Breads, cakes & biscuitsGlass
Rice, pasta & cerealsStones or soil
Dairy products (cheese, butter, yogurt)Metal cans or wire
Soups & saucesCardboard
Food soiled paper napkins & paper towelsAshes, coal or cinders
Newspaper when used for wrapping foodPet faeces or litter
Out of date food with packaging removedCooking oils
Grass clippings & small twigs