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May 2017

Does your company have to provide sanitary bins?

Written by Nicole Horne
Workplace Hygiene, Environment and Green Hygiene

Providing your female staff and customers with a discreet and hygienic place to dispose of their feminine hygiene waste is not only crucial to maintaining a clean and pleasant bathroom environment, it’s also a legal requirement.

A lot of people are unaware of this, but as a business owner, you need to adhere to sanitary waste disposal regulations in order to ensure that your company complies with the following:

  • The Occupational Health & Safety Act, 85 of 1993
  • The National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 59 of 2008.
  • The National Regulations on health care risk waste (NEMWA, act 59 of 2008)

There is strict legislation surrounding this matter so it’s important to educate yourself about the laws otherwise you could unwittingly find yourself in trouble.

Do I need to provide sanitary bins?

If you have any female employees, or if women from other companies visit your premises, you need to provide sanitary waste disposal bins and they should be placed in readily accessible places.

As well as providing these conveniences, any sanitary waste must be managed to the point of disposal. This means that neither you or any of your employees can dispose of the contents of the bins. Only a licensed carrier can do this and a full audit trail of documentation must be available at all times.
The safe disposal of feminine hygiene waste is essential to ensure your business complies with The Occupational Health & Safety Act, 85 of 1993 and The National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 59 of 2008.

Why do I need to provide sanitary waste disposal?

Sanitary waste which can cause harm to a sewer or drain should not be flushed away. As well as having disastrous consequences on the environment, putting sanitary waste down the toilet can cause blockages, resulting in expensive drain clearing bills for your area.

Towels and tampons aren’t dissolvable which means that when they’re flushed, they pollute water systems and eventually, beaches. These materials are incredibly bad for the environment but if bins aren’t provided, the only option is to put them down the toilet.

What’s more, sanitary waste can also lead to blockages of your own drains. This will lead to toilets which are out of order and the need for costly repairs. If you’re a business which has customers visiting your premises on a regular basis, smelly toilets that don’t work are very off-putting and can even damage your reputation.

Over and above the cost considerations of sorting out a blockage, the Occupational Health & Safety Act, 85 of 1993 and The National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 59 of 2008, both require businesses to comply with the safe disposal of sanitary waste. This means that providing the right facilities is mandatory.

Where can I get sanitary bins?

Initial Hygiene provides a large range of feminine hygiene waste disposal products as well as a collection service. This ensures that you can dispose of any waste in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner while ensuring that your business remains compliant with South African regulations.

Your sanitary bins will be emptied, cleaned and sanitised every time we visit so that a consistently high level of hygiene is maintained in your bathrooms. We will also provide a full waste transfer certificate.

If you would like more information about current sanitary waste disposal regulations or would like to know more about any of the products we offer, please feel free to contact Initial and we will be more than happy to help.

Contact us

Nicole Horne

Nicole Horne

Nicole is a Digital Marketing Executive at Rentokil Initial Hygiene in Johannesburg. A self-proclaimed germaphobe, her love for hygienic environments and curiosity of all things “beneath the surface” fuels her enthusiasm for writing about the impact of germs in the workplace. She is passionate about creating awareness and sharing her knowledge on the impact of good hygiene practices. Follow Nicole on Twitter and LinkedIn for updates on the the good, the bad and the germy.

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