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Regulation 2 – Clarifications on Definitions

Q.1.     Does the scope of the definition of “food waste” apply only to animal by-products or to all wastes falling within the definition of “food”?

Answer: The scope of the definition of “food waste” applies equally to all wastes falling within the definition of “food” and all obligated producers are required to comply with the provisions of the Regulations for the management of such food waste.

Q.2 While the definition of “authorised treatment process” explicitly omits only incineration, are all residual waste treatment processes effectively excluded from treating source separated biodegradable waste through the provisions of Regulations 7 and 8, including options like MBT or autoclaving?

Answer : Regulation 7 requires food waste generated on an obligated producer’s premises to be source segregated.
Treatment facilities designed for the processing of mixed municipal waste, such as MBT and autoclaving, are also excluded as preferred “authorised treatment processes” under the Food Waste Regulations as there is a prohibition on the mixing of source segregated food waste with other wastes/substances in Regulation 8.
However, just like incineration, MBT and autoclaving are , in principle , permissible under the definition of “authorised treatment” in circumstances where the Agency certifies that adequate capacity in “preferred” processing facilities is not available.

Q.3. Does treatment in the following Plants constitute an authorised treatment process?

  • Composting plants (licensed under EU Reg 1774/2002)
  • Anaerobic digestion plants (licensed under EU Reg 1774/2002)
  • Rendering plants (licensed under EU Reg 1774/2002)
  • Biodiesel plants (licensed under EU Reg 1774/2002)

Answer: Yes under circumstances where :

  • there is an appropriate level of treatment provided at the Plant enabling the outputs to fulfill the definition of “authorized treatment process” – refer to the criteria contained in paragraph (a)(i) in the definition, and
  • the use of the outputs will not lead to overall adverse environmental or human heath impacts – refer to the criteria contained in paragraph (a)(ii) in the definition, which includes e.g. rendering.

Q.4  There are a number of potential uses of food waste which are primarily animal by-product operations regulated by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF), including:
a) The manufacture of pet food in a plant authorised by DAFF, and
b) The use of food waste in accordance with a meat feeder’s licence issued by DAFF.

A number of questions arise with these operations:
1) Would each be considered an ‘authorised treatment process’ within the meaning of the Food Waste Regulations?
2) What are the specific authorization requirements for these operations under animal by-products legislation?

Answer: Use of food waste for pet food manufacture or for feeding purposes would be an acceptable “authorised treatment process” only in circumstances where the activity is in strict accordance with animal by-products legislation and is carried out to the entire satisfaction of DAFF.

DAFF is preparing further detailed advice on the implementation of these aspects of the Animal By-products legislation.

Q.5. What is the position if there is an inadequate capacity of the preferred authorised treatment facilities to accept and manage a segregated food waste stream.

Answer:The definition of “authorised treatment process” within the Regulations makes specific provision for a situation where adequate preferred authorized treatment capacity is genuinely not available by allowing that -
” (b) Where the Agency certifies that adequate processing facilities under (a) are not available, treatment in other authorised facilities”.
This provision empowers the Agency to allow the material to be directed to other approved facilities in appropriate circumstances – subject, of course, to the fulfillment of all prevailing legal obligations including the separate requirements of the Agency’s Technical Guidance Document on Pre-treatment and the conditions imposed on the waste licenses of individual facilities.

Q. 6. What is a competent person in relation to the preparation of food waste management plan or a food waste implementation report?

Answer:A competent person is defined in the Food Waste Regulations and essentially is a suitably qualified person with the relevant experience,
training and/ or educational qualification.