Sanitary Waste Disposal Regulations

There is a legal requirement for a business to comply with the ‘Duty of Care’ Act which says sanitary waste must be managed to the point of disposal.

Waste must be carried by a licensed carrier such as South West Hygiene, and a full audit trail of documentation must be available and kept for two years.

Our sewerage system was not designed to handle personal products (known as Sanitary Related Debris – SRD), most of which contain plastic or other insoluble materials. When flushed down the toilet they can create blockages in pipes and it has been estimated that three-quarters of all blockages contain disposable items. These blockages reduce the efficiency of the waste system and in times of flooding can also mean that SRD reaches our rivers, canals and seas.

To meet the UK legislation, all female washrooms should have a suitable means of sanitary disposal. SouthWest Hygiene has range sanitary disposal units which offer a practical and environmentally friendly option to suit your individual needs.

1. The Environmental Protection Act (Duty of Care) Regulations 1990 (Amended 1991).

“Duty of care” is a responsibility and applies to any person, who produces, imports, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of controlled waste in their working environment. Individuals must ensure that the waste they produce is handled and disposed of in a secure and correct manner. This is a legal responsibility and breaching of the duty of care is a criminal offence.

In basic terms:

All waste is stored and disposed of responsibly
Waste is only handled by individuals or businesses that are authorised to deal with it
A record is kept of all waste received or transferred through a system of Waste Transfer Notes
2. Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare Regulations) 1992 See Gov’t website


All water closets should be provided with:

Toilet paper in a dispenser
Coat hook
In the case of all WC’s used by women suitable means must be provided for the disposal of sanitary dressings

Washing facilities must be provided next to every sanitary convenience
There must be hot and cold running water
There must be soap or other means of cleaning
There must be towels or other suitable means of drying
3. The Water Industries Act 1991

No items should be flushed that could cause a blockage within the sewer or drain

What does it mean for me?

There is a legal requirement for a business to provide appropriate washroom facilities for their employees and customers.

What can SWH do to ensure fulfilment of these legal requirements?

Sanitary and Nappy Disposal Services

We supply a suitable disposal unit and service it, at frequency appropriate to the needs of the customer with a Waste Transfer Note describing the type and quantity of waste being transferred.

South West Hygiene is a licensed Waste Carrier & Broker CON 170304.

Air freshening and Fragrance

SWH supplies state of the art fragrancing units programmed to fit the location as “a means of preventing odors from lingering in and from entering into other rooms” and enhance the environment.

Soap Dispensing Systems

SWH provides robust attractive units and appropriate types of hand wash for all needs.

Hand Drying

SWH can supply linen roller towels or a range of dispensers and paper for handrying facilities.

Water Sanitisers

SWH fits and services top quality units that are environmentally friendly and work on a biological system to prevent the build up and therefore the smells associated with the build of uric acid.

Water Management System

Water By-Law 83, states that, where urinals are installed there must be a method of controlling the flushing mechanism to eliminate waste water when not in use. SWH fits and maintains a first class programmable product that will also save you money.

A full range of Water Conservation equipment is also available.

What is a Waste Transfer Note (WTN)?

A Waste Transfer Note (WTN) is a document which must be completed and accompany any transfer of waste between different holders.

A WTN must be created for each load of waste that leaves your site. For repetitive transfers, there is provision to use a ‘season ticket’ i.e. one transfer note will cover multiple transfers over a given period of time of up to 12 months. The use of a season ticket is, however, only permissible where the parties involved in each transfer are the same and where the description of the waste transferred remains the same. South West Hygiene uses an Annual Season Ticket.

What information should it contain?

The WTN must contain enough information about the waste to enable anyone coming into contact with it to handle it safely and either dispose of it or allow it to be recovered within the law. Failure to give enough information may result in prosecution.

You should describe on the WTN both in words and by reference to the appropriate codes in the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) and the quantity and types of each different waste being transferred. The requirement was introduced in England , Wales and Scotland by the respective Landfill Regulations.

If you are operating in Northern Ireland , you currently need to describe the quantity and types of each different waste being transferred both in words and by reference to the appropriate category (chapter heading) of the EWC. This is a requirement of the Controlled Waste (Duty of Care) Regulations ( Northern Ireland ) 2002.

The WTN should also include details of how the waste is contained i.e. loose or packaged and, if packaged, then in what type of containers.

Never rely on waste carriers or waste management contractors to describe your waste for you on WTN’s. You, as the producer, are in the best position to accurately describe your waste. Ensure that description of the waste on documentation is accurate – ideally write the description yourself. Non-specific terms such as ‘general waste’ or ‘inert waste’ are not acceptable. The purpose of the description is to allow other people who handle the waste to know what they are dealing with so that they can manage it safely and properly.

Both parties to the transfer must sign the transfer note, i.e. you and the waste carrier must sign the WTN before the waste leaves your site. If you transport the waste yourself, you and the operator of the waste management site to whom you hand over your waste must sign the transfer note. If you use a waste broker, you must ensure that they are registered with your environmental regulator and that they also sign the WTN in their own right. This is your record of the nature and quantity of waste you transferred, how it was packaged, when you transferred it, where it should go and who you transferred it to – all requirements of the Duty of Care.

You must keep copies of all WTN’s for at least two years.

The waste hierarchy Regulation 12 of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 says that businesses who import or produce, collect, transport, recover or dispose of waste, or who operate as dealers and brokers, must take all reasonable measures to apply the waste hierarchy when the waste is transferred.

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