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Sanitary Bin Waste Guidance

From our research most organisations are very confused with regards sanitary waste. So here at Binny Bin disposable sanitary bins, we thought we would help!

Are Sanitary Bins Required?

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 paragraphs 20 and 21 state that washroom facilities should be “suitable and sufficient”. These terms are clarified by the Health and Safety Executive in their “Approved Code of Practice” which states that for toilets used by women, “suitable means should be provided for the disposal of sanitary dressings”. Therefore, a method of disposal for sanitary bins is required. As well as legal obligations to use sanitary bins, there are also environmental reasons. There are an estimated two billion sanitary items which are flushed down toilets each year. This causes environmental damage as well as blocked sewers. There is a large water industry led campaign to address this significant problem.

So the simple answer is yes. Organisations really should use sanitary bins.

Sanitary Bin Collections Companies

Most organisations use sanitary bin companies which supply the sanitary bins and dispose of the waste and therefore, sanitary bin companies have a commercial interest in organisations using their collection services. The fact is that most organisations do not need to use traditional sanitary bin suppliers as sanitary waste is small and light and most organisations can simply use Binny™ disposable sanitary bins and dispose of the waste in the general (black bag) waste. The reason is that you will only be placing low volumes of offensive waste (in this case sanitary bin waste) in the general (black bin) waste.

What are the Rules around Sanitary Waste?

This document will guide you through this area so that you can make an informed decision as to what is best for your organisation. It is your decision as to whether you use a sanitary bin supplier but an increasing number of organisations are now switching to Binny™ disposable sanitary bins and have cancelled their sanitary bin supplier contracts. You simply need to use common sense to assess the alternatives. The simplest answer is found on the website as here at Binny we requested the issue to be clarified. This was updated on 14th October 2015 and can be found here. This is all you really need. Other relevant guidance document concerning the classification of sanitary waste is HSE Managing Offensive/Hygiene Waste 22 (rev1). The HSE document is primarily aimed at managers and supervisors in municipal and commercial waste collection, material recovery facilities, transfer stations, landfill, incinerators etc (p.2) as these facilities deal with offensive waste on incredibly large scale.

Other guidance for your organisation around classifying and disposing of sanitary waste is found in The Department of Health “Health Technical Memorandum 07-01: Safe Management of Healthcare Waste 2013″.

What is the Classification of Sanitary Bin Waste?

There is a considerable amount of mis-information and confusion concerning sanitary bin waste. Some organisations are informed that sanitary waste is medical/clinical/hazardous. However, it is actually considered to be Offensive Waste and the HSE document confirms this:

Sanitary Bin Offensive Hygiene waste definition

You can safely assume that sanitary waste is non-infections unless you are informed otherwise e.g. by a doctor as stated in the HSE guidance (p.3.),

“Municipal waste from domestic self-care – of a type that does not involve the need for a healthcare practitioner – is assumed to be non-infectious unless a healthcare practitioner indicates otherwise. This includes nappies and sanitary products.”

There are many different types of waste listed by the HSE which are deemed to be offensive waste, including:

  • Human and animal waste (faeces)
  • Incontinence pads
  • Catheter and stoma bags
  • Nappies
  • Nasal secretions
  • Sputum
  • Condoms
  • Urine
  • Vomit and soiled human bedding from a non-infectious source
  • Medical/veterinary items of disposable equipment such as gowns etc
  • Plasters (minor first aid or self-care) generated by personal use
  • Animal hygiene waste (e.g. animal bedding)
  • Waste from non-healthcare activities, e.g. waste from body piercing, tattoos”

Therefore, as we now know that sanitary waste is offensive waste, the next question is what are the rules for disposal? If you are not involved in healthcare (i.e. you are an office, shop etc) then please now read Binny sanitary bins – Use/Disposal


For healthcare organisations, the document to refer to regarding sanitary waste is also The Department of Health “Health Technical Memorandum 07-01: Safe Management of Healthcare Waste 2013″. This document also details that sanitary waste is not clinical / hazardous waste but is non-clinical non-hazardous waste and is offensive waste .

P.22 The Department of Health “Health Technical Memorandum 07-01: Safe Management of Healthcare Waste 2013”


Sanitary Bins

In the DOH 2013 Memorandum 4.116 (page 40) states, “Offensive/hygiene waste may include: Incontinence and other waste produced from human hygiene; Sanitary waste.”

Please now read Binny™ sanitary bins Use/Disposal

Binny™ the Alternative Sanitary Bins Supplier – Helping to Clarify Sanitary Bins Law