I propose to take Questions Nos. 629 and 635 to 638, inclusive, together.
In line with the objectives of the national waste policy, A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland, in terms of maximising the resource potential and minimising the disposal of our waste, the European Union (Household Food Waste and Bio-waste) Regulations 2015 are designed to promote the segregation and recovery of household food waste. The Regulations impose obligations on both waste collectors and householders.
Under articles 4 and 5 of the Regulations, household waste collectors are required to provide, or arrange for the provision of, a separate collection service for food waste from households for population agglomerations greater than 500 persons.
The list of waste collection permit holders, including waste management service providers who are obliged to provide a household food waste collection service in accordance with the regulations is available from the website of the National Waste Collection Permit Office - https://www.nwcpo.ie/permitsearch.aspx. Enforcement of the Regulations is a matter for local authorities, and in cases where a collector has failed to provide a food waste collection service in a defined brown bin area, affected householders should contact the local authority concerned, who have significant enforcement powers under the Regulations to secure compliance by both waste collectors and householders.
An objective of the Food Waste Regulations is to control the quality of segregated food waste in order to provide a suitable feed stock for composting and appropriate recovery activities. In order to limit where such waste can be consigned, the legislation requires it to be transferred for the purposes of an authorised treatment process at an authorised facility.
The treatment and management of waste material, including food waste is subject to a registration and permitting system by local authorities or licensing by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as appropriate, and governed by the Waste Management (Facility Permit & Registration) Regulations 2007 or the Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations 2004. For a composting, biogas or similar site to be classed as an authorised facility under the Food Waste Regulations, it must be both authorised for the treatment of food waste and be subject to an EPA licence, waste facility permit or a certificate of registration as appropriate. An inventory of such sites authorised by local authorities per region may be accessed at http://www.epa.ie/waste/policy/regional/ while details regarding authorised facilities operating under a waste licence are available on the EPA's website at http://www.epa.ie/terminalfour/waste/.
A food waste collection service is now being provided in every county across all local authority areas. The provision of this service to more remote areas with agglomerations less than 500 persons, where it is technically and environmentally practical to do so, continues to be monitored by my Department, together with the regulatory authorities.