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Food Waste Regulations – Experience in Ireland. Philip Nugent Principal Waste Policy and Resource Efficiency Dept. of the Environment, Community & Local Government Ireland. Presentation Structure. Main focus on commercial food waste regs Background / context

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Food Waste Regulations – Experience in Ireland


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    1. Food Waste Regulations – Experience in Ireland Philip Nugent Principal Waste Policy and Resource Efficiency Dept. of the Environment, Community & Local Government Ireland

    2. Presentation Structure • Main focus on commercial food waste regs • Background / context • Overview of content and objectives • Parallel measures Programme for Government • Impacts • Lessons learned, enforcement approaches • Next steps

    3. Commercial Food Waste Regs – Background and context • 2007 PfG Commitments • National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste • Minister – more segregation, restrict bio waste material going to landfill, including food waste • Pre-consultation on food waste instrument – early 2009 • Main issues: • Costs / admin burden • Infrastructure capacity • De minimis threshold • Enforcement • Draft Regulations published August 2009 for further consultation • Development of awareness

    4. 2009 Regs – Content and Objectives • Signed December 2009, effective 1 July 2010 • Designed to: • Promote segregation and beneficial use of food waste arising in the commercial sector • Increase amount of food waste that is recovered • Facilitate achievement of targets • Obligations on generators of food waste to segregate and make available for separate collection or • Treat on premises under specified conditions • Initially appled to premises producing 50kg per week of food waste –de minimus rule • Sunset on 1 July 2011 – thereafter all scheduled premises were covered

    5. Application – What types of premises are covered? • What types of premises are included? • Such as… • Pubs • Restaurants / cafes / bistros / wine bars • Hotels / guest houses • Shops / supermarkets • Hospitals / nursing homes • Educational institutions • State buildings • Canteens • Stations (airports, ports, harbours, marinas, train stations) • Do not apply to other commercial or industrial activities such as food manufacturing other than canteens etc.

    6. Exemptions / de minimus rule • Initially confined to >50kg • All scheduled premises • Where source-segregation is imposed • Producers < 50kg required to claim exemption by 1 July 2010 • Expired 1 July 2011 • Alignment with ABP legislation • Off-shore islands exempt

    7. Segregation and processing obligations • No conflict with food safety and hygiene standards • Requirement to segregate food waste from non-biodegradable materials, other waste and contaminants • Once segregated, food waste must be either: • Collected by an authorised waste collector and transferred for treatment – no incineration! OR • Subject to authorised treatment process on-premises OR • Transferred directly by producer to facility for authorised treatment • Minimiseodours and nuisance

    8. Handling and prohibition on contamination • Mixing of food waste with contaminants prohibited • Prevents making food waste unsuitable for composting or diminishing quality of end product • Exception for disposal waste which competent authority considers unsuitable for beneficial use arising from authorised treatment process

    9. Segregated collection service • Obligation to avail of source-segregated collection where available • Deposition of food waste as residual waste is prohibited • Treatment of macerators • Need to restrict load going to sewers and sewage treatment works • Polluter pays principle • Collectors not obliged to collect where producer is non-compliant or to accept non-segregated waste • Collectors also required to inform LA where producers fail to avail of collection service • Dealers / brokers / recovery operators – obligation to supply information.

    10. Other important provisions • Power to require submission of information • Offences • Liability • Trade shows and food waste management plans • Some important definitions • Authorised facility • Authorised waste collector • Authorised treatment process • Producer

    11. Awareness Raising / Stakeholder Engagement • 2 consultation processes • www.foodwaste.ie • Advisory Committee • Trade magazine articles • Factsheets • Plain English guide • FAQs • Media advertisements – national and local / regional papers • 8 Regional workshops for Restaurant of Ireland of Ireland Members

    12. Outcomes • Economic performance and waste streams • Commercial waste significantly down since 2007 • Large proportion is biodegradable • Good for the achievement of diversion targets but conceals full picture • Closer inspection suggests not yet effecting behavioural change…. 306,578 (tonnes available commercial organic waste) -75,857 (estimated source separated commercial organic waste) _____________ 230,721 tonnes (EPA 2011, National Waste Report 2011) • Only 25% collection

    13. Outcomes cont’d • Waste processors – optimistic ahead of introduction, investment decisions made but expectations not fully realised • Waste producers – reduced costs through avoided landfill levy, incentivised to reduce and prevent food waste • Enforcement critical • Overall compliance disappointing but some good examples

    14. Dublin City Council – Enforcement Approach • 2,300 food service establishments (FSE) in DCC required to hold a licence to discharge trade effluent under the fats oils and grease (FOG) programme • Inspections carried out by FOG team of inspectors • Inspections now cover compliance with Food Waste Regulations • Initially many excuses given as to why food segregation was not occurring • Importance reinforced through continuous inspections • Each inspection used as a means to educate and train FSE owners and staff • 12 month period - compliance up from 6.5% to 39%

    15. Fingal County Council – Enforcement Approach

    16. DoECLG Big Stick Approach • DoECLG selected 5 local authorities at random • Friendly visits – compliance record on food waste regs • Enforcement activities funded from the Environment Fund • Allocations normally made in February / March • Threat to withhold until certain steps taken

    17. Where next? • Focus on enforcement • Further evolution of enforcement structures • Mainstream identified best practices • Further information / awareness raising • Incentivise good performance • Fixed payment notices

    18. Thank you www.environ.ie Philip Nugent Waste Policy and Resource Efficiency Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Newtown Road, Wexford Ireland Telephone: +(353) (0)53 9117396 Philip.nugent@environ.ie

    19. Some Useful Websites • www.environ.ie Ireland’s Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government • www.epa.ie Environmental Protection Agency • www.foodwaste.ie