Sanitary Bin Waste Guidance

From our research, most organisations are very confused with regard to 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 in the UK that 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.

The simple answer is yes. Organisations really should use sanitary bins.

Sanitary Bin Collections Companies

Most organisations use sanitary bin companies that supply the sanitary bins and dispose of the waste. Therefore, these companies have a commercial interest in customers using their collection services.

However, most organisations do not need to use these traditional suppliers, as sanitary waste is small and light.

With Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bins you will only be placing low volumes of offensive waste in the general (black bin) waste.

The privacy flap on the Binny™ Bins also means that cleaning staff will not be able to see the contents.

Black Bin Bag

What are the Rules around Sanitary Waste?

An increasing number of organisations are now switching to Binny™ Disposable Sanitary Bins and have cancelled their sanitary bin supplier contracts.

The simplest explanation is found on the website as we requested the issue to be clarified. This was updated on 14th October 2015 and can be found here.

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, landfills, incinerators, etc (p.2) as these facilities deal with offensive waste on an 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?

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.

What is offensive/hygiene waste?

Offensive/hygiene waste (previously known as 'sanpro' or human hygiene waste) is not 'clinical waste', 'hazardous' or 'special waste' (in Scotland) under environmental legislation and not dangerous goods under transport legislation if it:

  • is considered non-infectious
  • does not require specialist treatment or disposal

Sanitary waste is non-infectious unless informed otherwise by a doctor as stated in the HSE guidance:

"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."

Different types of waste listed by the HSE, deemed to be offensive waste

Human & animal waste (faeces)



Incontinence pads

Sanitary Waste


Catheter and stoma bags

Nasal secretions


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"

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. 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".

The DOH 2013 Memorandum 4.116 (page 40) states,

"Offensive/hygiene waste may include incontinence and other waste produced from human hygiene; sanitary waste."

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

Emily Harman

Vale Garden Houses, Grantham, Lincolnshire

Great product, tried and tested now for over 4 months within an office and factory environment, just placed our second order. Binny Bin Sanitary Bins are a cost-effective, hygienic, lightweight, antibacterial, environmentally responsible and odour free, we are very pleased with this product, we will continue to use them, we have had nothing but positive feedback from staff.