EU Household Waste

European Union (Household Food Waste and Bio-Waste) Regulations 2015


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 this mean for me ?

The regulations have a phased implementation and originally took effect from the 1st July 2013. From the 31st December 2013 the regulations took effect in the Co. Laois towns of Portlaoise and Graiguecullen i.e. populations greater than 20,000 persons. Householders residing in these towns had to segregate food waste from the general waste stream. Other urban areas will be included, based on their population size from July 2014 onwards.


Time schedule for the Regulations to come into operation in all households situated in the following population agglomerations

Date from which segregation of food waste applies Population agglomeration size Co. Laois towns affected
1st July 2013 > 25,000 persons None affected
31st December 2013 > 20,000 persons Portlaoise, Graiguecullen
1st July 2014 > 10,000 persons No additional towns added
1st July 2015 > 1,500 persons Mountmellick, Mountrath, Abbeyleix, Portarlington
1st July 2016 > 500 persons Clonaslee, Rathdowney, Durrow, Killenard, Stradbally, Ballylinan


 What must I do with my food waste ?


Once segregated from the general waste stream you may either:

  • subject the food waste to a home composting process (such as using a food digestion cone), OR
  • bring the food to an authorised facility for treatment, OR
  • present it in a brown bin for collection by an authorised waste collector.

A householder may NOT

  • Deposit food waste in the residual waste collection 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 contributes to climate change.

Until recent times food waste was needlessly discarded to landfill. Instead it can be used to make a valuable product – compost.

The ‘Household Food and Bio-Waste Regulations’ 2015 seek to address this and are a follow on from previous regulations which have applied to Portlaoise and Graigecullen householders since late 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.


Further Information

European Union (Household Food and Bio-waste) Regulations 2015

Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government – Bio/Food Waste

Stop Food Waste


Note: This page is a guide only. It does not purport to provide, and should not be relied upon as, a legal interpretation of the Regulations. Laois County Council advises you to read the Regulations in full.