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Northern Ireland 2017 Food Waste Legislation – Will Your Business Be Affected?

Since April 2016, Northern Ireland restaurants, cafes, hotels and food producers have been required to separate and recycle food waste.

There has been a phased approach to this legislation and in April 2016 it became applicable to all businesses in the region, who produced over 50kg of food waste per week. In April 2017 the law becomes more far-reaching and will now apply to food businesses who produce over 5kg per week.


Business who will be affected by this change in regulation will include restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops and pubs serving food, supermarkets, schools, prisons and nursing homes.

The law changes mirrors similar action taken in Scotland in 2014. The result of that legislation was an increase in food waste being sent to Anaerobic Digestion plants of 10-20%.

How Does This Change in Food Waste Legislation Affect Your Business?

  • If you are a food provider or producer, you must collect your food waste and not contaminate it with non-food waste items.
  • You must ensure that food waste containers are clearly labelled and easily accessible for your staff.
  • You must ensure that all your staff are trained to use internal and external waste segregation systems effectively.
  • You must present food waste correctly for collection, in accordance with your food waste collectors’ instructions.You should normally remove the packaging from your food waste. Packaging may only be retained, if agreed with your food waste collector.
  • You must obtain evidence from your collector (a copy of their waste carriers licence) that they are a current registered carrier with NIEA.
  • You must have waste transfer notes for all food waste removed from your premises and you must retain these for two years. All waste must be appropriately described with the correct EWC Code.
  • Your food waste must only be transferred to an appropriately authorised waste management facility. You should obtain a copy of the sites’ authorisation (PPC Permit, Waste Management Licence, Waste Management Exemption) and where required their current working plan, to confirm the EWC Codes they are allowed to accept.

isl Team members

How Can ISL Waste Management, Belfast Help?

Our primary priority is to reduce food waste at source. Do you realise that a 240 litre wheeled bin filled with food waste costs the average Northern Ireland business approximately £240 in food purchase costs and waste disposal alone?

After an initial consultation, we will develop a bespoke waste management solution which will aim to help you firstly cut waste levels and then dispose of essential waste in the most cost effective manner. We ensure that your business is legally compliant and morally protected at all times.

In practical terms, we provide various sizes of food caddies and biodegradable bags for use in kitchens and food preparation areas and a suitably sized external bin for regular collection.

Our support service includes:


  • Staff training and ongoing support on correct segregation
  • Reports showing how much food waste you have diverted from landfill through composting and anaerobic digestion


We work with many large NI companies in managing their food waste. We recently helped Clements Coffee Shops reduce their overall waste costs by 300% and Mourne Seafood cut 50% off bin costs by moving to ISL.

Contact us for a free comprehensive consultation and quote.