Legal Obligations of Sanitary Waste

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Unsure about your legal obligations when it comes to sanitary waste? Let us help you…

Providing bins for sanitary and nappy waste is common sense for businesses, but did you know that this is underpinned by legal requirements which extend to how the waste is also disposed of?

So, what is sanitary waste?

In this context, sanitary waste refers to the used products during a female menstrual cycle/period, such as tampons and sanitary towels. Both sanitary and nappy waste are classed as “offensive waste” as it is not clinical waste but needs to be disposed of separately to general waste.

Why is it important to correctly dispose of this waste?

This type of waste has potential to spread harmful bacteria as well creating unpleasant smells in the washroom. Correctly disposing of this waste will make your washrooms more pleasant for visitors and ensure that you are following your legal obligations.

What are the laws that affect businesses?

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 outlines that sanitary bins must be made available in the female washrooms. This applies to all business premises that have female workers or visitors. It also states that “suitable means should be taken to prevent odours lingering in and from entering other rooms”.

Water Industries Act 1991 

This Act states that no items that could cause build-up or blockage in a sewer or drain system should be flushed down the toilet. As tampons and pads are not dissolvable, when flushed they can lead to drain system blockages and potentially some expensive drain clearing bills. Not providing sanitary bins, or a ‘suitable means’ for disposal, means flushing products is often the only option, and therefore your bathroom environment is violating the law.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990

You have a legal “duty of care” to correctly manage waste and ensure of its correct disposal. Employees should not be responsible for the waste disposal of their sanitary products.

How can you ensure that you are disposing of this waste correctly?

By working with a specialist washroom services provider who are licensed waste carriers, such as Hygiene Solutions, you can take advantage of our specialist knowledge and industry expertise.

Why work with a specialist Washroon Services Provider?

The majority of companies employ sanitary disposal experts to ensure that sanitary waste disposal legislation is followed. All sanitary waste must be handled by a licensed waste carrier.

This legislation includes effectively segregating, packaging, and labeling the sanitary waste produced, supplying sanitary bins and sanitary bags, maintaining and cleaning these units in between emptying, and documenting the audit trail, which must then be available and kept for two years after collection.

To keep your business compliant, Hygiene Solutions will supply you with sanitary and/nappy bins for your business, and arrange the regular collection and disposal of the waste. 

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