UK Workplace Sanitary Waste Disposal Legislation

woman disposing tampon

Washroom and sanitary waste hygiene

It’s very important to collect and dispose of sanitary waste safely and hygienically. Not only does this help to ensure a clean and hygienic washroom environment for users, but the management of sanitary waste is also subject to a number of legal requirements as outlined by UK law.

Some companies do not realise that they have a duty of care to their employees and visitors to their premises, part of which is to provide adequate sanitary waste disposal facilities.

Are sanitary waste disposal bins required by law in UK businesses?

If you have female employees or female visitors to your premises, then all businesses in the UK are legally required to provide appropriate facilities for the collection and disposal of sanitary dressings as outlined in The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations Act 1992, The Water Industries Act 1991 and The Environmental Protection Act 1990. Failure to adhere to the rules and regulations outlined in these acts can lead to hefty fines

Need help with your sanitary waste obligations?

Rules and regulations around the disposal of sanitary waste

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

These regulations specify that all companies must provide an appropriate means of disposal for sanitary products in female washrooms. This can include providing sanitary bins and sanitary bags.

The Water Industries Act 1991

This act covers the disposal of waste by flushing it down the toilet. It states that no waste that can cause blockages in a sewer or drain system should be disposed of by flushing these items down the toilet.

If appropriate sanitary disposal facilities are not provided, then this could lead to people disposing of sanitary waste down the toilet which can lead to blockages and expensive repair bills.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990

This act means that it’s each business’ individual responsibility to collect, store and dispose of waste that is created on their premises. This includes sanitary waste. Waste management takes time, and this is why companies often look to an external sanitary waste disposal expert to manage this for them.

How to dispose of sanitary waste

There are strict sanitary waste disposal requirements in the UK, particularly in the workplace and other public areas. A separate sanitary bin should be provided to safely dispose of feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads. All sanitary waste management must be taken care of by a licensed carrier, such as Citron Hygiene. Outsourcing sanitary waste management to an expert external provider can take away the stress from your own facilities management team and ensure that you stay the right side of the law. For example, licensed sanitary waste disposal experts understand that documentation must be completed and kept on record for a minimum of two years after collection.

It’s a misunderstanding of rules and regulations such as this which can lead to costly fines for a business and in some cases irreversible damage to a brands image.

Can cleaners empty sanitary bins?

Due to the risks associated with handling sanitary waste, in addition to legislation, it’s recommended that cleaners do not empty sanitary bins. A company with a license to collect and dispose of waste is recommended to ensure the right procedures are followed.

How often should sanitary waste bins be emptied?

This will depend on the volume of sanitary waste being produced and the size of the sanitary bins provided. A bi-weekly or monthly disposal service may be required. An expert sanitary disposal service company will be able to advise you on the best course of action and the best sanitary bins to provide in your washrooms.

For example, if your washroom has a low number of visitors then a small feminine hygiene unit  might be ideal. However, in a large office building, it may be better to provide a large sanitary waste unit.

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Finding a sanitary hygiene services provider

Citron Hygiene revolutionised feminine hygiene in 1955 when we introduced the first feminine hygiene disposal units and we have continued to be an industry leader in the field of sanitary waste ever since.

Feminine hygiene has evolved from being about collection of feminine waste and odour control to minimising the spread of germs and designed FHUs that are stylish and compact, to maximise the limited space that’s often available in washroom cubicles. We provide a range of discreet and stylish sanitary bins, backed up by our liner exchange service meaning your units always stay on site. With every sanitary bin service, our technicians will collect your waste for disposal, cleaning your units and replacing the liners too.

If you would like to discuss your sanitary waste collection and disposal requirements, then please contact our team who will be happy to help you.

Find out how we can help elevate your washroom experience. Talk to us.

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