DOE NI opens food waste-to-landfill consultation



The Department of the Environment Northern Ireland (DOE NI) has launched a consultation on introducing restrictions on the landfilling of food waste.

The draft legislation has been proposed in line with the ‘key’ objectives of the ‘soon to be published’ NI Waste Management Strategy, namely increasing resource efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Open to all stakeholders, but especially food businesses, councils, waste collectors/carriers and householders, the ‘Consultation on the introduction of restrictions on the landfilling of food waste’ details the contents of the proposed legislation, how DOE NI expects it to affect stakeholders, and identifies some practical issues that would arise from restricting food waste from landfill. Such issues include the need for alternative waste management infrastructure, funding and enforcement.

Legislation details

The consultation document outlines the proposed regulatory measures:

  • to require food waste producers to present food waste for separate collection (from 1 April 2016 for medium/large businesses and 1 April 2017 for small businesses);
  • to introduce an obligation on district councils to provide receptacles for the separate collection of food waste from households from 1 April 2016;
  • to introduce a ban on the landfilling of separately collected food waste from 1 April 2015; and
  • to introduce a ban on the non-domestic discharge of food waste into the public sewer network from 1 April 2017.

The draft legislation has been developed in the context of the Waste Management Strategy, and its focus on ‘waste prevention, preparing for reuse and recycling’, in accordance with the waste hierarchy set out in the European Union (EU)