Sanitary Bins Law and Sanitary Waste Legal Requirements

Sanitary waste is a controlled waste and must be disposed of under strict legislation. There is a responsibility for all businesses of any size to adhere to these legislations for the welfare of their employees, visitors and customers. This includes every business from offices, restaurants, shopping centres to schools, even if there is only a single female present at the premises.  

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Sanitary Disposal is governed by the following legislation:

  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulation 1992, Regulation 21
  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 34
  • The Water Industries Act 1991
  • The Duty of Care Regulations 1991

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulation 1992 specifies that all companies are required to provide a suitable means for the disposal of sanitary dressings in ladies washrooms.

Regulation 21 of the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulation 1992 advises, “…in the case of water closets used by women, suitable means should be provided for the disposal of sanitary dressings”.

This means that washroom cubicles should contain a sanitary unit or other form of bin suitable for the disposal of sanitary waste.  If a unit is not in every cubicle, some indication should be made to show which cubicles do have one.

This regulation was further endorsed by the Water Industries Act 1991, which states that no items should be flushed that could cause a blockage within the sewer or drain or major plumbing and blockage problems.  Before this regulation was introduced, it was common practice for sanitary waste to be flushed down the toilet, as disposal units often weren’t in cubicles but in the communal washroom areas.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 34 and Duty of Care Regulations 1991, also known as the Duty of Care Act, demands that all sanitary waste is managed to the point of disposal. Waste must be carried by a licensed carrier with a valid carrier’s certificate and a full audit trail of documentation must be available at all times. Failure to comply can lead to a large fine or imprisonment.  Doves Hygiene Services are a registered waste carrier and therefore the collection vehicles are authorised to carry waste. All waste is inspected to ensure that no hazardous waste is present and is either recycled, sent to deep landfill in accordance with the Department of Health Guidelines or incinerated if required. By complying with these legislations, you know that Doves Hygiene Services takes this sensitive issue seriously.

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