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What danger does international catering waste hold?

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The definition of international catering waste (ICW) is animal product food waste that comes from international transport vehicles. This includes waste from cruise ships, ferries and airlines. It is not classed as ICW until it is no longer fit for human consumption or has been mixed with other food waste. ICW is considered hazardous and is controlled by the Regulation (EC) 1069/2009. This regulation sets out Community requirements for the control, importation and disposal of animal by-products.

These rules are in place to prevent the spread of disease like foot and mouth in the UK.

Below, we are going to discuss how to identify if you have ICW and how to properly store, transport and dispose of it.

How do I know if my waste is ICW?

According to GOV.UK – “ICW is classified as a high-risk category 1 animal by-product, unless it’s from planes, vehicles, or ships travelling in EU territory only.” Your waste is considered ICW if your vessel or aircraft travels outside the EU, even if you purchased all of your produce while still in the EU.

How should I store international catering waste?

Any ICW must be stored in a contained that is secure, leak-proof and clearly labelled ‘Category 1 – for disposal only.’ Under the regulations, you can use a compactor to minimise waste volume so long as you – keep the waste stored in a covered area, control any liquid run-off, and disinfect areas contaminated with any liquid run-off. Waste balers and compactors are extremely popular as they save businesses time, money and space as well as increasing their recycling.

One of the simplest ways to comply with the regulations is by storing ICW in vacuum packed sealers. A vacuum packing machine can be used to seal ICW in secure packaging while also removing any air that germs and microbes feed on. Using vacuum packaging therefore helps to prevent cross-contamination, while ensuring that ICW can be stored safely without the risk of leakage or contamination.

How should I transport ICW?

You must take ICW for safe disposal immediately after your vessel has docked or your aircraft has landed. You must then clean and thoroughly disinfect any areas that stored ICW after each use. Under the regulations, you must use a Defra-approved disinfectant. You should refer to the list of Defra approved disinfectants to check which products and concentrations you should use.

How should I dispose of ICW?

You must dispose of ICW using one of the following methods:

  • Deep burial in an approved landfill site.
  • Pressure sterilisation and deep burial in an approved landfill site.
  • Incineration or co-incineration following approved processing methods.
  • Combustion for use as fuel at an approved plant.

You must keep records of your disposal method for the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to inspect. The responsibility of disposal of ICW lies with the private owner or company that owns the vessel or aircraft. If you hire a specialist company to remove ICW off your vessel or aircraft, you’re still responsible for legal disposal.

How do I recycle ICW?

Under the regulations, you must separate any recyclable items before they are placed in waste bins. You cannot recycle items that are mixed with milk products; unless you can prove that the product has been properly treated in a milk processing plant in the EU. Any disposable cups that contained milk from treatment plants outside of the EU will be classified as ICW. The disposal of the ICW must accord with the regulations outlined above. You can recycle other items like confectionery, nuts and non-dairy drinks as long as they have not been mixed with ICW.

How do I declare domestic catering waste?

If your vessel or aircraft contains food waste after re-entering the EU, the waste is classified as domestic waste so long as you have:

1) properly disinfected any containers that come into contact with food, and

2) restocked produce after you returned to the EU.

The ship’s master must complete a written declaration to demonstrate their vehicle complies with these actions. Commercial aircrafts do not require a declaration. However, private planes must leave a declaration with the airport operator or send a copy to the APHA office that regulated the airport where they landed.

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