Food Waste and the Law

Food Waste & The Law

The Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009 govern any businesses that sells or serves food. According to these regulations food waste from specified premises must be segregated at source since 1st July 2010.

List of businesses affected by these regulations

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Public Houses
  • Guest Houses
  • Shops
  • Supermarkets
  • Chippers (sale of hot food off the premises)
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • All workplaces where food is supplied to employees for consumption.
  • Licensed events-community type events excluded.

If these regulations affect your business then food waste must be segregated and:

  • Cannot be sent to landfill
  • Cannot be co-disposed – this means it can not be collected by a contractor and separated on your behalf by the waste contactor.
  • Can only be collected by authorised waste contractors (segregated food) and composted/ treated offsite at authorised treatment facilities
  • Can be composted on site (requires licence)
  • Can use maceration in limited cases (see below)
  • Can be fed to animals in limited cases (see below)


While the use of maceration was banned under the Food Waste Regulations they can be used to treat food waste if a facility has its own wastewater treatment plant and licence to discharge to water/ drain.

Feeding to Animals

The Swill Order allows the feeding of certain foods to animals, once there is strict separation from animal by-products. These include:

  • Cereal grains
  • Edible material of plant or vegetable origin
  • Bread and dough (including biscuits) and chocolate
  • Milk and milk products that have undergone heat treatment (as per regulatory requirements)

Food Waste containing Meat

If food waste contains meat then:

  • It can be fed to animals – providing they do not enter the human food chain.
  • It can be used in accordance with a meat feeder’s license issued by Dept. Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Stay up to date with the latest News & Resources

Sign up for the Newsletter