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Manchester Port Health Authority
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Disposal of International Catering Waste on the Manchester Ship Canal

This note is to inform Port Operators and those who are involved in the disposal of international catering waste of the law relating to this matter and how this should be complied with.

Why is International Catering Waste Controlled? 

International catering waste is controlled in order to protect public and animal health. This waste has the potential to spread exotic notifiable diseases (such as foot and mouth) if farmed or feral animals are able to come into contact with it. The legislation aims to minimise this risk.

What is International Catering Waste? 

International catering waste is defined under the European Union (EU) Animal by-products regulations as “catering waste from means of transport operating internationally”.

Any catering waste from a vessel that has landed in a non EU port is subject to controls after returning to the EU. This includes all vessels that have docked/landed in non-EU countries even if the vessel has taken on board provisions within the EU. This is because there is no reliable method for establishing that provisions on board are from within the EU.

To avoid confusion on this matter, ALL catering waste landed on the Manchester Ship Canal is considered to be international catering waste and therefore should be treated in the manner set out in this guidance document. 

How should international catering waste be disposed of? 

International catering waste is a Category 1 by-product. These products represent the highest risk of disease if they enter the human or animal food chain.

Under the Animal By-Products Regulations (the regulations), Category 1 material can only be disposed of by rendering or incineration. International catering waste may also be disposed of by burial at an approved landfill site.

How should ICW be handled? 

International catering waste must be kept separate and identifiable and must be marked: ‘Category 1 By-Product for Disposal Only’.

Once offloaded from the ship the waste must be kept in a dedicated, covered, leak proof skip or other suitable container. The skip or container should be clearly identified as containing: ‘Category 1 By-Product for Disposal Only’.

Whilst not required by the law, it is recommended that these bins are also labelled ‘International Catering Waste’ to avoid any confusion.

It is a requirement of the law that skips or suitable containers are covered. It is therefore essential that skips are not allowed to be overfilled as this will prevent the lids from closing effectively. It is an offence for skips or suitable containers not to be covered.

What are the responsibilities of ships masters? 

The ships master is considered to be the waste producer for the purposes of the law and is therefore responsible for ensuring that international catering waste is disposed of correctly. Where a port or marina does not have waste reception facilities, it is the responsibility of the master to ensure that all catering waste is disposed of in accordance with the regulations.

If the facilities provided for international catering waste are found to be full or locked the Port Operator/Port Health Authority should be contacted immediately. It is an offence for international catering waste to be stored anywhere other than the dedicated skip or container.

Who is responsible for disposal of international catering waste once it is offloaded? 

Once international catering waste has been offloaded from a ship it is the responsibility of the individual Wharf Operator. The Wharf Operator is responsible for ensuring that waste is collected, stored and taken to an approved landfill site, rendering plant or incinerator by a registered waste carrier using the methods prescribed by law.

The regulations require that a clear verifiable audit trail exists from the point of production to the point of disposal. All records must be retained for at least two years.

What are the requirements of the port waste reception plan?

Under this plan the port must provide the necessary information, procedures, contracts, containers or equipment to deal with the international catering waste in line with the regulations.

Any changes in the contracts or procedures used by the port should be highlighted to the Port Health Authority.

Who is responsible for enforcing the law relating to international catering waste? 

Manchester Port Health Authority have powers to enforce the requirements of the regulations for the movement of international catering waste from ship to storage on shore. Local authorities have the powers to enforce the requirements of the regulation for the movement of international catering waste from the port to final disposal.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency monitors compliance with the regulations for the movement of waste from ship to shore and has responsibility for approving landfill site to receive international catering waste.