February 17, 2016

From 1st April 2016 a change in the legislation, the Food Waste Regulations (NI) 2015 (“the Regulations”), means a change in the waste collection requirements for food businesses.  A business is classified as a “food business” if it is “an undertaking, whether carried on for profit or not, and whether public or private, carrying out any activity relating to the processing, distribution, preparation or sale of food.”  The purpose of the Regulations in general is to provide for the separate collection of food waste and to place a duty on businesses to ensure food waste is not deposited in a lateral drain or sewer.  It also places a duty on those who transport food waste to collect and transport such waste separately from other waste.

From 1st April 2016, if you have a food business that produces 50kg or more of food waste per week, you must separate it from your landfill waste and have a separate collection in place to dispose of it.  Food businesses include:-

  • Restaurants;
  • Cafes;
  • Shopping centre foodcourts;
  • Canteens;
  • Hotels;
  • Public houses that serve food;
  • Shops that sell food;
  • Supermarkets;
  • Schools and colleges that have canteens;
  • Prisons;
  • Nursing homes;
  • Hospitals.

It is the responsibility of each individual business to dispose of their waste in accordance with the Regulations.  The new Regulations do not place obligations on house-holders and does not regulate for the disposal of beverages. The legislation sets out a series of regulatory requirements which come into force between 2015 and 2017.

This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor.  Please contact our Planning and Environmental Team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.

Louise Coll, Associate Solicitor, Planning and Environmental Team, Cleaver Fulton Rankin, Solicitors.