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What Small Businesses can do about Sanitary Disposal

Even when operating as a small business, there is a legal requirement to provide employees with an area in workplace bathrooms for sanitary disposal. It is also crucial to keep this area clean and tidy so that employees feel safe and comfortable at work.

What is a sanitary bin?

Sanitary waste ranges from menstrual products, nappies or anything relating to human waste. A sanitary bin will often be in toilet facilities where you can dispose of products safely and hygienically. This type of bin should be fully enclosed to prevent exposure to any waste and limit the amount of physical interaction needed by selecting one with a foot pedal or sensor application. 

Most sanitary facilities will require an antibacterial bin liner to limit germ build-up and prevent unpleasant smells throughout the bathrooms.

As a small business, do we need sanitary bins?

Regardless of the size of your business, you need to adhere to sanitary disposal regulations to support the well-being of employees, customers and visitors. The responsibility of sanitary disposal lies with every business, workplace and public building and must comply with the legislation. 

Sanitary bins belong in female, gender-neutral and accessible bathrooms, so they are easily found regardless of the toilet facilities. Not providing sanitary bins encourages people to flush their waste away, and if you dispose of it down the toilet, the risk to sewers and drains has a substantial impact on the environment.

Sanitary disposal legislation

Educating your business on the importance of sanitary disposal begins with learning the legislation. Sanitary disposal follows the current legislation:

  • The Water Industries Act 1991
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulation 1992, Regulation 21
  • The Duty of Care Regulations 1991 / The Environmental Protection Act 1990
     

The Water Industries Act 1991 states that no items that could cause issues within the sewer or drain systems or create any harmful blockage problems should be flushed. Before the Act, many would flush sanitary waste away, as bins were often in communal areas of washrooms instead of within each private cubicle. 

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations Act 1992 highlights that employers are responsible for making sure toilet areas stay clean and waste is cleared regularly. Every female washroom should have a sanitary bin provided, whether in every cubicle or where it is visible and accessible. 

The Environmental Protection Act 1990, section 34, urges a Duty of Care on those required to handle the sanitary waste - this is a legal requirement. Businesses need to manage the process to the point of disposal and then hire a licensed carrier for ultimate health and safety.

Responsibilities of sanitary waste disposal in the workplace 

The role of a licensed carrier is essential. Carriers are legally licensed to remove and dispose of all sanitary waste, and they will document every audit conducted throughout the process and will issue a waste transfer note. Sanitary bins require regular servicing to avoid malodour and germs. They should also be sanitised and cleaned on a monthly or bi-weekly basis.

How to dispose of sanitary waste 

The Government consider sanitary products to be an offensive waste. Offensive waste is any non-clinical waste that is non-infectious and does not consist of chemical or pharmaceutical substances but is still possibly unpleasant when face to face with it. 

Who can dispose of sanitary waste in the workplace?

In line with the Duty of Care Act, employees can not be made responsible for disposing of sanitary waste themselves. Licensed personnel must handle all sanitary waste - something Elis can help support businesses with.

How Elis can help 

At Elis, we offer a wide selection of professional hygiene fittings, ranging from hand hygiene and lavatories to air fragrancing. Let us take away the hassle of managing your washrooms with modern, new dispensers, a regular supply of consumables, legally compliant sanitary waste disposal and dependable service visits. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

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