Minister Hogan signs New Household Food Waste Regulations –Diversion of household Food Waste from disposal to resource recovery.

Mr Phil Hogan T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government has signed the European Union (Household Food Waste and Bio -Waste) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 71   of 2013).

The regulations are designed to promote the segregation and recovery of household food waste.  They will increase the amount of food waste that is recovered through the production of energy, compost and digestate, thereby creating opportunities for added jobs and value. In particular, the regulations will facilitate the achievement of the targets set out in Directive 99/31/EC on the landfill of waste for the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill sites, by directing source-segregated household food waste to composting and to other forms of treatment; and the new regulations were signalled in the recently published national waste management policy:


“A Resource Opportunity –Waste Management Policy in Ireland”

The regulations will also meet requirements of the recently-transposed Waste Framework Directive, Directive 2008/98/EC. Along with the Waste Management  (Food Waste) Regulations  2009 ( S.I. No. 508 of 2009), they  complete Ireland’s requirements in relation to ( in particular) the application of the waste hierarchy and of the bio-waste and other recovery requirements of that directive.

The Household Food Waste Regulations impose obligations on:


  • Waste collectors – who must provide a separate collection service for household food waste,
  • Households that produce food waste – who must segregate such waste and keep it separate from other non-biodegradable waste, and have it separately collected by an authorised waste collector.


Householders may alternatively:


  • Compost the food  waste at home, or
  • Bring the food waste to authorised treatment centres, for recovery in an environmentally acceptable way, such as civic amenity sites, anaerobic digestion sites or for incineration.


Households are not allowed to:

  • macerate waste and dispose of it in a drain or sewer, or
  • dispose of food waste in the residual waste collection( the black bin)


In accordance with the regulatory impact assessment prepared for these regulations, the roll-out of the brown bin will be phased in over the following timetable:


·         1st July 2013 for agglomerations > 25,000 persons;

·         31st December 2013 for agglomerations > 20,000 persons;

·         1st July 2014 for agglomerations > 10,000 persons;

·         1st July 2015 for agglomerations > 1,500 persons, and

·         1st July 2016 for agglomerations > 500 persons.


Information on current roll-out of brown bins (i.e. up to 2010, the latest date for which figures is available) is contained in Annex 3 of the regulatory impact assessment.


The Regulatory Impact Assessment can be located at the Department’s web site at the following link:

Draft Waste Management (Household Food Waste Collection) Regulations – Regulatory Impact Assessment (pdf, 1,838 kb)



  1. The Regulations impose obligations on the householders to segregate their food waste, and make it available for separate collection.
  2. Alternatively householders may subject the waste to home composting or bring the waste directly themselves to authorised treatment facilities.
  3. Where a source-segregated collection for food waste is available, the Regulations include a general prohibition on the deposition of food waste in the residual waste collection service-the black bin.
  4. In addition, obligated householders are prevented from shredding or hydrating food waste by mechanical devices to facilitate its discharge to the sewerage infrastructure.
  5. The Regulations have practical application from differing phase in periods and over a period to 1st July 2016 brown bins will be rolled out to most towns and cities with only very small population areas being exempt or small islands or areas where it is simply not technically, environmentally or practical to separately collect such waste.
  6. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Waste Report 2010 noted that the amount of biodegradable waste collected at kerbside from households only slightly increased in 2010-at 63,837 tons-over 2009 but this was expected to increase in 2011 and beyond.
  7. By the end of 2010, 28 out of 34 local authority areas had kerbside organic bin collections.
  8. An amount of 21,422 tons of household organic waste was separately collected at civic amenity sites in 2010. EPA estimates that organics comprise about 23% by weight of the gross household bin waste stream.
  9. Home composting was estimated at 36,855 tons.
  10. 35% of households with a collection service have a three-bin service (residual “black bin”, dry recyclables “green bin” and organics “brown bin”).
  11. The quantity of biodegradable waste sent to landfill decreased by 19% in 2010 relative to 2009 to 860,000 tons and Ireland thus met its first Landfill Diversion target.
  12. Limits for 2013 and 2016 will be even more stringent –see Table below-but these Regulations should facilitate the meeting of the EU targets.



Target Year Landfill directive target

( related to BMW generated in 1995)

Maximum quantity of biodegradable waste allowed to be landfilled
2010 75% of 1995 Figure 916,000 (860,000 deposited-target achieved)
2013 50% of 1995 figure 610,000
2016 35% of 1995 figure 427,000

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