These Regulations 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. The Regulations will also facilitate the achievement of the targets set out in the Landfill Directive (Directive 99/31/EC) for the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfill sites, by directing source-segregated household food waste to composting and to other forms of treatment.
Obligations are imposed on both householders and waste collectors. Householders are obliged to segregate their food waste, and make it available for separate collection in the brown bin. Alternatively householders may compost the food waste at home; or bring it themselves to authorised treatment facilities (such as civic amenity sites or anaerobic digestion sites).
The roll-out of the brown bin initiative is being phased in on a progressive basis, and began on 1st July 2013. As of July 2017, brown bins have been rolled out to population centres greater than 500 persons, i.e. to most towns and villages. Only very small population areas, or small islands, will be exempt, because it is not technically, environmentally or economically practical to separately collect such waste in these areas.