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Food Waste Regulations

Waste Food? – We all do it!

We all generate Food Waste - at home, in school, at work and when eating out.

Nearly all this food waste is thrown in the bin, and while some is composted most of it ends up in the local landfill. In the landfill, rotting food decomposes to make methane and other gases. In addition to the smell, these are really bad greenhouse gases.

On average, wasted food costs each Irish household €700 a year. For some households this can be over €1,000! This is an unbelievable waste of money and food - think of the holidays you could have instead of throwing all this food out!

Main Types of Food we Waste

It has been found that the main foods that are regularly thrown out are:

  • Bread
  • Apples
  • Potatoes
  • Salads - almost 50% of what we buy we throw out!
  • Meat and fish
  • Yogurts and milk
  • Spreads and dips

Visit (External Site) for details on how to order, shop, store and cook to create less food waste

Household Food Waste Regulations.

Household Food Waste – Brown Bin Service to be rolled out from July 2014 in Mayo

 The  European Union (Household Food Waste and Bio-waste) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 71 of 2013)  are now in force.  These new regulations are designed to promote the segregation and recovery of household food waste. Currently Irish Families throw out on average a third of all food purchased.

The Regulations impose obligations on both householders and waste collectors. Householders are obliged to segregate their food waste, and make it available for separate collection. Alternatively householders may compost the food waste at home; or bring it to authorised treatment facilities (such as civic amenity sites or anaerobic digestion sites) themselves.
Where a source-segregated collection for food waste is available, householders are not allowed to dispose of food waste in their landfill bin.

Waste collectors are required to provide a separate collection service for household food waste.

Roll-out of the brown bin is being phased in on a progressive basis, beginning on 1st July 2013. The timetable for when the regulations take effect is as follows:

  • 1st July 2013 for population centres greater than 25,000 persons; 
  • 31st December 2013 for population centres greater than 20,000 persons;
  • 1st July 2014 for population centres greater than 10,000 persons (including Ballina & Castlebar)
  • 1st July 2015 for population centres greater than 1,500 persons, and
  • 1st July 2016 for population centres greater than 500 persons.

By July 2016, brown bins will be rolled out to most towns and villages. Only very small population areas, or small islands, will be exempt, because it is not technically, environmentally or economically practical to separately collect such waste in these areas.

Food Waste & Business

Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009.  (Regulations relating to food waste for Businesses)

The EU Landfill Directive drives Irish waste legislation. This requires that we reduce the volumes of waste landfilled. It also requires us to drastically reduce the disposal (landfilling) of biodegradable waste by July 2010. The National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste requires a 36% diversion of bio waste in 2010. Regulations introduced in December 2009 are designed to promote the source segregation and beneficial use of food waste arising in the commercial sector. The Regulations come substantially into affect on July 01st 2010. From this date the majority of businesses will no longer be able to put food waste in their landfill bin.

Obligations are imposed on the major generators of food waste, such as State buildings where food is prepared, restaurants and cafés, hot food outlets, forecourt vendors, canteens, hotels and larger guesthouses, hospitals, universities, airports and supermarkets and other food retailers, to segregate these materials and make them available for separate collection. These producers may directly transfer their own food waste to an authorized treatment facility or treat the material on their own premises subject to approval. Organisers of some trade shows also must comply with the Regulations and must prepare a Food Waste Management Plan.

Frequently Asked Questions as prepared by the Department of Environment Heritage & Local Government

Frequently Asked Questions (External Site)

Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009 - Information Leaflet

Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009 - Brochure

Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009 - Regulations







Waste not Want not Summer Salads

(Environment, General)
50% of Lettuce we buy ends up in the bin! – FACT

Waste not Want not Summer Salads-read the full story.

Posted: 22/07/2011

Environment Section

Second Floor, Mayo County Council
Áras an Chontae
The Mall
Phone: (094) 9024444
Contact Form: Online Complaints / Queries
Open: Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Some of this information is not currently available in English. To view this information it its entirety in Irish, please click the “Irish” tab at the top of the page.

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