Household food waste collection & recycling service

In September 2017 the Council extended its food waste collection service to an additional 24,000 households across the district. These households join the 22,000 households across the district that were already on the brown wheelie bin or the brown food waste caddy collection service.

Under new legislation – the Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) – all food waste must be placed in your brown wheelie bin or food waste caddy. Food waste is not acceptable in your black or green landfill bin.

Please note, a number of households in the district in areas that are difficult to access, flats and apartments and households that receive an assisted bin lift service will not be joining the food waste collection service in September due to operational constraints. The Council is assessing options on collecting food waste and it is hoped that in the future we will be in a position to provide a food waste collection service to all residents in the district. We apologise for any inconvenience. For further information or enquiries please call us on 0300 303 1777 option 1 Changes to bin collections, Text Phone 028 8225 6216.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is changing?
You must now place all your food waste in your brown bin or 23 litre food waste caddy. Food waste should not be placed in your green or black landfill bin.

Why is the Council collecting food waste?
The Food Waste Regulations NI, places a duty on all Councils in Northern Ireland to provide households with the means to separate their food waste for recycling with the aim to reduce waste to landfill and the associated economic and environmental costs

Councils have targets to meet:

  • To achieve a recycling rate of 50% by 2020
  • To significantly reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill

Food waste accounts for a third of all waste in household landfill bins in Northern Ireland, so introducing a dedicated recycling service for food will make a big difference.

Apart from the legal requirement, why is it important to place my food waste in the brown bin and caddy?
Food waste collected in brown bins and caddies is sent for recycling and processed into garden waste compost or used as an energy source. Food waste placed into landfill green/black bins goes to the landfill site where it rots and produces lots of gases that are very harmful to the environment. (when food waste breaks down it produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas which greatly contributes to climate change).

How does my food waste collection service work?
You should use your kitchen caddy to collect all food waste from your home. It is small and discreet and can fit in a corner of your kitchen work top or placed in a cupboard under your sink. For hygiene and convenience, line your kitchen caddy with a compostable liner and put food waste in. Or you can wrap your food waste in newspaper.

Food waste should then be transferred to your larger 23 litre food waste caddy or brown bin and presented at the kerbside by 7am on your dedicated collection day.

Why do some households have a food waste caddy and other households have a brown wheelie bin?

With the legislative change from April 2017, councils must provide householders with a food waste collection to reduce food waste to landfill. Residents who received a brown bin service prior to this date will continue to do so with brown bins collected by a refuse vehicle. All other properties are being provided with food caddies to be collected as part of the food waste collection service by a POD vehicle which provides the most efficient and cost effective food waste collection service in these areas. The food waste collection service has been designed to minimise the cost to ratepayers going forward.

What can I put in my food waste caddy/ brown bin?

·         All food waste including:

·         Meat and fish- raw and cooked including bones and skin

·         Fruit and vegetables- raw and cooked

·         All dairy products such as eggs and cheese

·         Bread, cakes and pastries

·         Rice, pasta and beans

·         Uneaten food from your plates and dishes

·         Tea bags and coffee grounds

·         Egg shells

What food waste will not be accepted in my food waste collection?

·         Liquids

·         Oil or liquid fat

What if I compost at home already?
If you are already composting at home, please keep doing it. Home composting is the best way to deal with uncooked leftovers, such as fruit and vegetable peelings.

But you can put things like meat, fish, bones, cooked food and dairy products in your food waste container, which you shouldn’t put in your compost at home.

Can I put food packaging in the brown bin or caddy along with the food waste?
No. You can’t put any food packaging in your caddies. Any unused food should be removed from the packaging before recycling. Rinse out recyclable packaging (where necessary) and place in the blue recycling bin. Non- recyclable food packaging goes in the black/green landfill bin.

What about the mess of recycling my food waste?
The Council will provide a free kitchen food waste caddy and compostable liners. These allow you to store your food waste separately in your kitchen or utility room and dispose of it in a ‘mess free’ way – simply tie a knot in your liner, lift the bag of food waste out of the caddy and drop it into your brown bin or 23 litre food waste caddy bin.

What about the cost of recycling my food waste? Will my rates bill rise?
It costs half as much to recycle your food waste compared to the cost of landfilling it, because the government charges the Council a hefty landfill tax. The money saved by recycling food waste will be used to invest in new and better community services.

What about the smell and pests?
Food waste placed in your brown bin or caddy will be collected every two weeks, so will not have to sit any longer in this bin than it would do if it was in your black/green landfill bin.

If you want to reduce the chances of smells and pests, there are a few steps you can take:

  1. Empty your kitchen caddy more regularly, thus preventing food breaking down in the warmer environment of the kitchen attracting flies.
  2. Put your brown bin or caddy out for collection on every cycle, whether it is full or not.
  3. Wash out your brown bin and caddies with a mild detergent solution, preventing a build- up of residue.
  4. If your caddy is lined with compostable bags, ensure you tie the bags tightly when full.

Where can I get compostable food waste liners?
You can collect these from our offices. These are free of charge and are available in the following locations;

  • The Grange, Mountjoy Road, Lisnamallard, Omagh, BT79 7BL
  • Townhall, 2 Townhall Street, Enniskillen, BT74 7BA
  • Killyvilly Depot, 152 Tempo Road, Killyvilly, Enniskillen, BT74 4GD
  • Gortrush Depot, Great Northern Road, Omagh, BT78 5EJ
  • Drummee Waste Management Facility, Drummee Road, Enniskillen, BT74 5JX
  • Recycling centres across the district including Belleek, Carrickmore, Dromore, Garrison, Gortrush, Omagh, Fintona, Irvinestown, Lisbellaw, Lisnaskea, Kesh, Kinawley, Newtownbutler, Rosslea and Tempo
  • Public Service Centre, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh

Only compostable liners supplied or recommended by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council can be used in your food waste collection.

If you wish to purchase liners from an alternate source please ensure they are certified EN13432 compostable.

You can also place loose, un- bagged food waste into the bin, or you can use old newspaper to line your food caddy or to wrap food waste in. This can also go into brown bin or caddy.

Brown bins or food waste caddies containing plastic bags will not be collected.

How should I store the liners?
We recommend that liners are kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

What happens if I put the wrong items into my kerbside caddy?
If the wrong items are found in your kerbside caddy we will not be able to empty it. Our crews will record the problem and leave a sticker on your bin. It will be your responsibility to remove the items of contamination for the next collection.

What will happen if I put food waste in my landfill black/green bin?
When you have been provided with the means to separate food waste, Council staff will check black and green landfill bins to ensure that food waste hasn’t been placed in them. Where they find food waste in your black or green landfill bin rather than your brown bin or caddy, they will initially leave a sticker reminding you of the requirements. Where you continue to incorrectly place food waste in your black or green landfill bin, we may then refuse to empty it.

What if I have more food waste than fits into the outside caddy?
If you find that you have more food waste than fits into your outside caddy, please contact our Recycling Officer on 0300 303 1777 (calls charged at local rate), Text phone 028 8225 6216 or email anthea.owens@fermanaghomagh.com for further information and advice.

Home composting can help with uncooked leftovers, such as fruit and vegetable peelings. Home compost bins are available free of charge from your local recycling centre. Food waste like meat, fish, bones, cooked food and dairy products should not be placed in your home compost bin as this may attract pests and vermin.

How can I reduce my food waste?
Food waste is a major issue. Every year UK households throw away seven million tonnes of food and drink. Wasting this food costs the average household £700 a year (£60 per month) and is bad for the environment.

Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com  for tips and advice on how to reduce food waste through planning meals in advance, storing food correctly, cooking the right amount, using date labels correctly and loving your leftovers.

Can I exchange my 23 litre food waste caddy to a brown bin or vice versa?
No. A refuse vehicle collects brown bins in the towns whereas a POD lorry collects food waste caddies from rural households. Each vehicle has lifting gear specific to the type of bin it is collecting therefore it is not possible to change a food waste caddy to a brown bin or vice versa. A POD vehicle provides the most efficient and cost effective food waste collection service in rural areas.

My caddy has been damaged or is missing, can I get a replacement?
If you have not received a brown bin or kitchen caddy (depending on the collection service in your area) please contact Waste and Recycling 0300 303 1777

Further information & enquiries
For further information or enquiries please contact our waste and recyling team on:

Telephone: 0300 303 1777(calls charged at local rate)
Textphone: 028 8225 6216
Email: info@fermanaghomagh.com