New food waste regulations arrive in April

From 1 April 2017, food business operators in Northern Ireland are prohibited from depositing food waste in a public drain or sewer, or in a drain that connects to a public drain or sewer.

Cater Waste NI explains what the changes will mean for your business.

Preventing Food Waste from entering the Drainage System

Wet waste food particles will inevitably be discharged through plugholes during any wash-ware discharging operation, unless suitable food-to-drain prevention measures are in place. This never-ending food supply leaves an unhygienic food trail back to the premises that attract pests. 96% of the UK public depends upon the mains public drainage and sewerage system.

Sink strainers can only restrict some larger food particles from waste water discharges and it is important that commercial food operations install food trap interceptor tanks which are adequately designed to trap both large and fine food sediment particles through settlement as well as capture free floating organic hydrocarbon components through flotation.

A commercial food trap interceptor should incorporate a regular removal regime of all these trapped food waste particles, so as to prevent them from building up and bypassing down stream into the drainage system. Direct wet waste food disposal equipment is banned.

A food trap can be categorised as non-complex equipment, requiring only gravity to allow settlement and does not need any moving parts or power supply for it to operate. The sealed tank unit should have a removable cover to allow complete internal access, for both inspection and for the regular removal of all the intercepted food particles.

Local Authority Compliance

Food Business Operators should be able to demonstrate to their local authority compliance officials, that they have management control procedures in place that are designed to prevent food waste from entering the public drain in compliance with current food law.

From 1st April 2017 food business premises that continue to use the drainage system as a method for disposal of food waste, through non-intercepted pipework will be deemed to be utilising structurally inadequate plumbing and drainage and to be in breach of regulations.

Local authority officials, who accept self-attestation in place of physical evidence of compliance with current legislation may file this in documented form for reference, should future issues arise indicating a challenge to the contrary, or should a conflict with another intergovernmental department later occur.

For more information, contact www.caterwaste.com, or call them now on 028 7965 1888.

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