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Northern Ireland presses ahead with food waste rules

Landfill and sewage bans and separate collections requirements for food waste in Northern Ireland will be introduced by 2017, the Department of the Environment (DoE) has indicated.

The official response to a consultation on the Draft Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 has confirmed a series on measures the department intends to take to recover and reduce food waste.

They include:

  • A landfill ban on separately collected food waste from April 2015
  • The segregation of food waste for large food businesses (more than 50kg a week) from April 2016 and for smaller businesses (between 5kg and 50kg a week) from April 2017
  • A ban on the discharge of food waste into sewage from April 2017
  • The provision of food waste bins to households by councils from April 2017

In a previous proposal, it was envisaged that local authorities would provide food waste bins from 2016, but officials moved the date back a year following suggestions from the consultation’s respondents that councils may need more time.

The department had also asked whether respondents supported the proposal to allow commingled collections only where they can be demonstrated to deliver “equivalent or better environmental outcomes”.

It later clarified that commingled collections will be allowed where they ensure the amount of food waste collected is not “significantly less” than would be if it had been collected separately.

The DoE also said it will not include a TEEP (technically, economically and environmentally practicable) argument in the legislation to allow potential exemptions to the separate collection requirements and bans. 

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