Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Canteen wastes come from a wide variety of different businesses including:
Canteen waste includes:
“Catering waste” means all waste food including used cooking oils originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens.
You must comply with your duty of care responsibilities. Only transfer your waste to a person or business authorised to deal with it, otherwise you could be held responsible. You must provide a written description with the waste and you must also keep records of all waste that you transfer or receive for at least two years.
From 1 January 2014 new regulations affect food businesses in Scotland. Food businesses that produce more than 5Kg of food waste per week must segregate their food waste. There are special arrangements for businesses in rural areas.
New duties for food businesses in Northern Ireland
If you are a food business and produce more than 5kg of food waste per week (roughly one kitchen caddy full) you will be required to separate that food waste from the rest of your waste for separate collection.
The waste water your business creates might be classed as liquid waste (trade effluent), you must check with your water company to see if you require a permit.
You must not dispose of used cooking oil with the rest of your canteen waste.
If you produce waste cooking oil, you must:
Find your nearest recycling and disposal services using the NetRegs Waste Directory.
If your catering waste includes animal by-products, you must only send it for disposal at authorised premises including:
You may be required to segregate your catering waste to exclude meat if you send it to an approved biogas or composting plant.
If you produce catering waste from international transport ie from planes or ships you must dispose of it by incineration, rendering or burial in a licensed landfill site.
It is your responsibility to ensure the correct disposal of your canteen waste. It must not contaminate the environment and must never be fed to livestock.
There are specific rules that apply to animal by-products, which cover all animal, fish and shellfish waste.
If you dispose of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), such as microwaves, kettles and vending machines, you must comply with the WEEE regulations.
You should not pour waste cooking oil and fats down drains or sewers. This can lead to:
You can install fat traps or oil interceptors in your drainage system which will reduce the chances of blockage.
You can reduce, reuse or recycle a large proportion of waste created in canteens:
You can compost food waste and it is a good way to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
If you compost animal by-products you must have an authorisation from:
If you are unsure of compost options and which type of composting will best suit your business, check the NetRegs compost page.
The water industry opposes the use of food waste macerators because of the potential for blockages. In Scotland the use of macerators to dispose of food waste in the sewer system has been banned from 1 January 2016, except for domestic premises and food producers in rural areas.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
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