FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
The Guidance from the Department of Health is very clear, sanitary waste is "offensive" waste which is in the same category as nasal secretions, sputum, plasters, etc. Have you ever asked for a separate third-party to visit your site to collect used tissues? Low volumes of offensive waste are okay to put in the black bin general waste. Therefore, why would you pay for a third-party sanitary bin collection company to empty your sanitary bins (many of which will be empty but you are still paying for the service)?
The Department of Health and the HSE states that it is perfectly acceptable to place low volumes of offensive waste (less than 7kg per collection) into the general waste. Sanitary waste is incredibly light and figures from sanitary bin collection companies reveal that the average weight of a sanitary bin collection (per bin) is only 300g. Therefore, organisations producing under 7kg per black bin collection can simply use Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bins.
Sanitary bin contracts are big business. We believe that organisations should be given accurate information to make their own choices and we felt so strongly about this that we contacted the Environment Agency to clarify the situation in November 2014 received the below reply:
"Thank you for your enquiry on the responsibilities of small business in relation to municipal offensive waste. The Safe Management of Healthcare Waste (HTM 07 01, April 2013 edition) provides guidance on this subject.
- Businesses are expected to segregate municipal offensive waste items where they are generated in quantity (e.g.7kg in a collection period). This waste would be classified as 20 01 99 (offensive waste).
- In smaller quantities, municipal offensive waste items can be discarded in the 'black bag' (mixed municipal waste stream). As they are a normal non-hazardous constituent of domestic mixed municipal waste, their presence would not alter the classification of similar waste from a business. It would remain 20 03 01 (black bin waste).
Businesses may choose to segregate the smaller quantities, however, there is no legal requirement to do so, and therefore no offence in relation to a failure to do so. The Environment Agency is not able to comment on the sales practices of any individual (sanitary bin) company unless we were concerned that it was insufficient to comply with environmental regulatory requirements. If you are concerned that the sales activities of a company are inappropriate, you should take that up with the relevant bodies that regulate trading practices.
As a result of the example you provided, we have asked the government data service (GDS) to amend the waste classification page on gov.uk to clarify that the segregation of small quantities of municipal offensive waste by businesses is not required. This should appear on the following page at some time in the future."
If you have a weekly black bin collection, then to exceed 7kg of sanitary bin (offensive) waste per bin collection you would need to have in excess of about 200 female staff on-site!
We are providing this figure to give you a rough idea regarding how many women it would take to generate this level of sanitary bin waste to help you in your assessment as the guidance purely deals with weights of offensive waste rather than staff numbers.
For organisations with only a small number of female staff, you can be assured that you are not exceeding these volumes.
Patent-pending Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bins are designed to make things simple for cleaning staff. The contents are never seen by your cleaning staff due to the special modesty lid and all that is required from your cleaners is that they simply pick up a Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bin, give it a shake to see whether it is full, and then put it into the general waste.
Furthermore, any offensive waste carries a small risk (whether a used tissue or a sanitary product) and we wanted to make sure your cleaners received maximum protection when touching Binny™ sanitary bins. Therefore, we ensure that every Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bin has an antibacterial silver ion coating inside and outside which kills 99.99% of bacteria to protect your cleaning staff (they face more risk touching a door handle!).
To show we take your staff welfare seriously in terms of anti-bacterial protection, Binny™ sanitary bins conform to ISO20743:2013.
In quiet toilets, Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bins can be left in situ for months. No more paying for an empty sanitary bin to be collected!
Sanitary products dry out very quickly in a Binny™ sanitary bin compared to traditional sanitary bins. In traditional plastic/metal sanitary bins, the contents can start to sweat, which makes odour become a problem much quicker than with Binny™.
Also, Binny sanitary bins are specially coated with a malodour blocker which is specifically designed and laboratory tested to target sanitary smells.
Of course, if an odour does develop, the offending bin can simply be placed in the waste and replaced with new Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bins. No more waiting for a sanitary bin contractor!
There is an exponentially higher risk of transferring bacteria through touching a traditional sanitary bin, toilet door handle or sink tap than by touching a Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bin. Traditional sanitary bins do not have any anti-bacterial protection built into the unit.
However, Binny™ sanitary bins are safe to touch as they are coated inside and out with Biomaster™ and provide antibacterial protection throughout the life of Binny™ which cannot be washed off. Binny sanitary bins are independently certified to ISO20743:2013 proving their antibacterial effectiveness.
The Biomaster™ coating has been proven to kill harmful bacteria such as Campylobacter, E.coli, Legionella, Listeria, Staphylococcus and MRSA, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, and many other species by up to 99.99%. See our Anti-bacterial Technology page for more info.
Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bins contain a splashproof coating both inside and out. Therefore, washing your floors isn't a problem.
As a large NHS Trust, I have extensive knowledge regarding waste and sanitary waste is actually classed as 'offensive waste'. Legislation concerning waste is often misused to place pressure on organisations to use sanitary bin contractors but there is no legal requirement for any organisation to use these contractors. We have moved away from sanitary contactors and now use Binny disposable sanitary bins in all our toilets. I would encourage other organisations to review their use of contracts as Binny disposable sanitary bins have provided us with many advantages including carbon footprint reduction and improvement in service quality.