Guide

How to manage organic waste

Benefits of managing organic waste

Good management of organic waste enables food and drink producers and hospitality businesses to reduce the disposal of organic waste to landfill. It increases the use of other forms of waste management. In turn this helps your business to meet legal, economic, stakeholder and media pressures.

Organic waste legal pressures

Managing your organic waste effectively will help you comply with legal requirements, such as regulations on animal by-products and landfill.

The Animal By-Products Regulations aim to control the risk of disease to both animals and the public. Animal by-products are allocated to one of three categories according to the risk they pose, and this category determines the waste management options permitted. Catering waste, former foodstuffs, and raw meat and raw fish from food manufacturers and food retailers are usually Category 3 - the lowest risk.

Controls on waste disposed of to landfill are becoming increasingly tighter. Certain wastes are now banned, including liquid wastes. You or your waste contractor must also treat all waste in some way before it is sent to landfill as part of your duty of care for business waste.

Organic waste economic pressures

Reducing the amount of organic waste that you send to landfill will reduce your costs because food waste attracts the higher rate of landfill tax. Disposing of mixed waste to landfill sites is becoming increasingly less economically viable because of:

  • annual increases in the landfill tax
  • higher charges by operators to recoup the costs associated with stricter rules governing landfill design and operation
  • the requirement to treat waste before consigning it to landfill

Organic waste stakeholder pressures

The environment is an increasingly important part of the corporate and public agenda. It is now generally accepted that environmental performance and responsible behaviour in the community are important factors in winning and keeping new customers. Businesses are increasingly expected by their stakeholders - customers, investors, suppliers, media, etc - to make a commitment to minimising and managing waste.