Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Sanitary waste

Sanitary waste and hygiene waste

You must handle and dispose of any sanitary waste you produce safely. You should not flush sanitary waste down the toilet.

Sanitary waste includes used:

  • nappies
  • sanitary towels
  • tampons
  • incontinence pads
  • condoms.

What you must do

If you provide toilet facilities on your premises for employees and visitors you must plan how you will deal with sanitary waste.

As a business, you have a duty to ensure that any waste you produce is handled safely and within the law. This is your duty of care.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

As part of your duty of care you must ensure that you only transfer your waste to a person or business that is authorised to deal with that type of waste.

Find your nearest waste site

You must keep records for two years of all waste that you transfer or receive.

Good practice

Sanitary waste should not be flushed down the toilet. It may cause blockages in sewage pipes at sewage treatment plants and septic tanks, causing sewage and sanitary waste to pollute the sea, rivers and eventually beaches.

Install sanitary bins for female employees and visitors to dispose of used feminine hygiene products. They should be in all female or unisex toilets, disabled toilets and baby changing facilities. This could save you from having to pay expensive drain cleaning bills.

The national Bag It and Bin It campaign provides information on disposing of personal hygiene products responsibly.

Northern Ireland Water: Bag It and Bin It campaign

Scottish Water: Bag it and Bin it leaflet

SEE ALSO: Accommodation waste, Healthcare sector guidance

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