Food Waste Regulations


The ‘Household Food and Bio-Waste Regulations 2015’ require that all household food waste must be segregated and that the waste collector must provide a ‘Brown Bin’ for this waste.

What does that mean for me?

The regulations apply to all agglomerations of over 500 persons. This includes Dundalk / Blackrock, Drogheda, Ardee, Omeath, Carlingford, Knockbridge, Louth Village, Dromiskin, Castlebellingham / Kilsaran, Dunleer, Clogherhead, Termonfeckin, Tullyallen and Collon. If you live in one of these population centres, you must segregate your food waste from the general waste stream.

Remaining smaller urban areas will be included, based on their population, from 1st July 2016.

Who has obligations under the (Commercial) Food Waste Regulations 2009?

These Regulations impose obligations on the generators of food waste, such as State buildings, restaurants and cafés, hot food outlets, canteens, hotels and larger guest hotels, hospitals, Universities, airports, supermarkets and other food retailers where food is prepared, to segregate these materials and make them available for separate collection or direct transfer by the producer for the purposes of authorised treatment. Alternatively, these materials can be treated on the premises where they are produced under specified conditions.

The Regulations include a general prohibition on the deposition of food waste in the residual waste collection service.

Authorised waste collectors are obligated to provide a source segregated food waste collection service to it's clients. Waste collectors are obliged to inform the relevant Local Authority of persons who are refusing to avail of a source segregated waste collection service.

What must I do with my segregated food waste?

Once segregated from the general waste stream you may either:

  • Subject the food waste to a home composting process
  • Bring the food waste to an authorised facility for treatment or
  • Provide it for collection by an authorised waste collector


A householder may NOT

  • Deposit food waste in the residual bin (i.e. ‘black bin’).

What are the implications for waste collectors?

All authorised waste collectors collecting household waste in these areas must provide a separate food waste collection service or ‘brown bin’ for their customers.

Why are these changes taking place?

Under the ‘Landfill Directive’, Ireland has been directed to divert biodegradable waste away from landfill. Biodegradable waste is made up mostly of food and garden waste, which when sent to landfill, is a major source of methane, a gas which not only causes odour nuisance but also damages the ozone layer, resulting in global warming and increased UV exposure.

The ‘Household Food and Bio-Waste Regulations’ 2015 seek to address this and are a follow on from previous regulations which have applied to Dundalk and Drogheda householders since 2013, as well as the ‘Commercial Food Waste Regulations’ introduced for businesses in 2009. If not implemented, Ireland faces stiff penalties from the European Union.

So what constitutes food waste?

Food waste is any unwanted food, cooked or uncooked. A typical (non-exhaustive) list is attached below. It is important to check with your waste collector, however, to confirm which wastes are suitable for collection in their brown bin.


The following should be included:


·         Kitchen food scraps

·         Leftover plate scrapings

·         Fruit & vegetables

·         Tea bags & coffee grinds

·         Meat, fish &poultry,

·         Bread, cake & biscuits,

·         Eggs & dairy products

The following should NOT be included: 

·         NO Plastics

·         NO Metal

·         NO Oils, including frying or cooking oil

·         NO glass

·         NO crockery

·         NO rubber gloves

·         NO nappies, sanitary items ortoiletries

·         NO clothes or shoes

Should I carry on home composting?

Yes, home composting is a great way to deal with food waste such as fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags and coffee grinds.

There may, however, be a portion of your food waste which is not suitable for home composting, for example, cooked food, meat, fish and poultry, as the odour might attract vermin.

You may, therefore, need to give consideration as to how you propose to deal with this portion of your waste.

In any event, you will need to be able to demonstrate to Local Authority personnel that you are dealing with your food waste in one of the ways outlined under the ‘Household Food & Bio-Waste Regulations 2015’.

For further information on home composting, please check

What happens to the waste in the brown bin when it is collected?

All brown bin waste will be transported to a composting plant where it will be broken down at high temperatures and converted into compost for re-use.

Will my bin smell and be messy?

If food waste is wrapped in paper (i.e. newspaper) and the lid is kept closed, there will be little or no smell.

There is no reason why the brown bin should smell any more than the bin it went into previously, as long as it is put out for collection frequently (fortnightly is recommended).

Placing cardboard or newspaper at the bottom of the bin will soak up any liquids and reduce any smell or mess.

Bins should also be washed out regularly.

Where can I put my garden waste and grass cuttings?

This MAY be accepted in your brown bin but you will need to check with your waste collector first. Otherwise garden waste can be composted and in most cases is accepted at your local civic amenity site. It must NEVER be placed in the residual waste bin (i.e. ‘black bin’). 

Who are the authorised Household Waste Collectors in Louth?

Ace Environmental(042) 9377167
AES(0818) 650655 or (045) 580060
Ecological Waste Management(042) 9323030 or (042) 9370152
Oxigen Environmental(1890) 694436
Panda(1890) 626262