All employers have a legal requirement under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to provide female employees (or anyone visiting your premises) with a suitable means for disposing of sanitary waste. This includes the safe management of waste on your premises, right up to the point of final disposal.
Under the strict legislation, it means that neither you nor an employee can dispose of the waste, and you’re most likely using (or considering using) a third party provider.
The question we get asked most frequently is:
“How much should I be paying for sanitary bins and their disposal?”
As with most things in life, the answer isn’t always straight forward, with the final price dependent on a number of considerations. But as a general rule if you’re paying more than £90 per sanitary bin for the year, with a basic 4 weekly disposal service included, you could be paying too much.
Under certain circumstances, this fee can either be higher or lower, and some of the more common considerations that affect the final price can include:
Frequency of servicing
Typically, disposal services are either provided monthly, twice a month or weekly. However for high traffic locations, twice a week may be required in order to provide a hygienic and sanitary washroom experience.
This would most likely be reserved for large businesses and schools, or public facing organisation’s like hospitals and museums.
Tip: In order to reduce your annual bill, ask your sanitary disposal provider if they provide seasonal flexibility. For example holiday parks and schools may have different demands during term time and peak periods. Having a variable fee that adjusts to your needs could help to reduce your annual sanitary disposal costs.
The number of sanitary bins you need
The price you pay for a sanitary bin disposal will almost certainly vary depending on the number of units you require. Put simply more bins will most likely equal an increase in cost.
Tip: While there’s nothing stopping you from buying the units yourself, it’s likely that you’ll still need a waste disposal specialist to ensure they’re emptied regularly, and hygienically. The alternative option would be to lease the bins, providing you with the ability to scale up or down in line with your business requirements. It may save you money in the long run.
For most organiation’s, your location isn’t likely to have a drastic impact on your waste disposal costs. However if you’re in a rural setting where drivers may have to make a substantial detour for collection, this could be a cost consideration.
Tip: Try to ensure that you contact a local provider, serving similar clients in a similar location. This will ensure that your location can be easily scheduled into any collection route, saving you time and money on your final quote.
Extra administration costs
Some companies will occasionally charge for “extras” like administration costs or Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note costs. These may not always be apparent on a website, or during an initial discussion.
Tip: Talk to providers to ask them if they leave a service sheet at your premises after each visit, and if this is provided free of charge, and included as part of their service provision to you. Also check that there isn’t any other additional administration costs.
Does everyone pay the same?
While it would be nice to think that standard tariffs apply to businesses, regardless of industry or size, there are occasions where a provider may increase the cost for certain businesses.
For example, in order to win large, lucrative contracts, some providers may offer heavy discounts for sizeable contracts, that are essentially subsidised by smaller businesses who are charged a premium.
Tip: While discounted rates for large contracts aren’t new or unique, sanitary waste disposal costs for smaller businesses can vary dramatically. It’s always a good idea to shop around, comparing prices to see what’s best for you.
While the cost of sanitary waste disposal services isn’t always viewed as an expensive business cost, making just a small saving can quickly add up over the months and years. However if you can make substantial cost savings, then the money can be used to reinvest back into the business, or used as a treat for your employees – we hear that the International Museum of Toilets is always a fun day out.
Please check out our other services pages to find out more about the services we offer and contact us for more details.