The regulations, signed yesterday by Irish Environment Minister Phil Hogan, will make it illegal for households to dispose of food waste in their residual waste streams. 

The regulations are designed to increase the amount of food waste that is recovered through the production of energy, compost and digestate.

The new rules, which will be phased in over the next three years, also require waste collectors to provide a separate collection service for food waste.

The Government believes the requirements will help Ireland meet European waste to landfill diversion targets by directing source-segregated household food waste to composting and to other forms of treatment

Householders can alternatively compost their food waste at home or take it for recovery at civic amenity sites, anaerobic digestion sites or for incineration.

In 2010 the quantity of biodegradable waste sent to landfill decreased by 19% since the year before to 860,000 tonnes, ensuring Ireland met its first European landfill diversion target.

Conor McGlone

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