Waste Food Regulations

The Waste Management Food Waste Regulations came into force on 1st July 2010. These regulations are designed to promote the source segregation and beneficial use of food waste arising in the commercial sector.

Household Food Waste


The Regulations impose obligations on both householders and waste collectors. Householders are obliged to segregate their food waste, and make it available for separate collection. Alternatively householders may compost the food waste at home or bring it to authorised treatment facilities such as civic amenity sites or anaerobic digestion sites.

Read the Home Composting Guide here

Read How to Manage Your Waste at Home

Where a source-segregated collection for food waste is available, householders are not allowed to dispose of food waste in the residual waste collection service (the Black Bin).

Waste collectors are required to provide a separate collection service for household food waste.

Brown Bins

The European Union (Household Food Waste and Bio-waste) Regulations 2015, (initial legislation introduced in April 2013) build on the commercial food waste regulations introduced in 2009 and are designed to promote the segregation and recovery of household food waste, in line with the national policy and the Waste Framework Directive objectives of maximising the resource which can be extracted from waste and minimising the disposal of 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.

Each domestic dwelling located within a population centre greater than 500 persons must have and use an organic bin. Householders are obliged to segregate their food waste and it should be separately collected by the Authorised Waste Collector.

Households in the following locations in Limerick are obliged to operate the 3 Bin System i.e. Food Waste/Organic Waste, Dry Recyclables and Residual (Landfill):

Limerick City
Newcastle West


Further information on Household Food Waste is available here and on www.brownbin.ie.

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Commercial Food Waste


Obligations are placed on the commercial generators of food waste, such as state buildings where food is prepared, to segregate their food waste at source and make it available for separate collection by an authorised waste collector using the 3 bin system.

These premises include:

  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Hot food outlets
  • Canteens
  • Hotels and larger guest houses
  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Airports
  • Supermarkets

Links to further information

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Macerators / Garbage Grinders

Some businesses have installed food waste macerators (garbage grinders) that attach to sink units.

The use of these and other similar devices to dispose of food waste into the sewerage system is prohibited by the Food Waste Regulations when a food waste collection service is available. 

This provision applies irrespective of whether a discharge licence under the Water Pollution Act has been issued which allows food effluent to pass to a sewer. 

Again, this is to ensure that food waste is consigned to recycling and also to avoid blockages in the drainage system.

For further information on Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009 click here.

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