Feminine Hygiene Today

The term feminine hygiene was probably thought up by a man as a seemingly polite conversational phrase or euphemism to cover all personal care products used by menstruating women.

In the context we are discussing today we are solely covering the disposal of used feminine hygiene protective products by users of commercial premises. This could be your office staff or indeed members of the public.

These days the sanitary bin is a ubiquitous product standing guard in the corner of the toilet cubicle but this was not always the case. Indeed it is still common in smaller, old fashioned premises to see brown disposal bags hung up on a hook and a simple flip-top bin for disposal.

toilet sign

This leads to the dangers of drain blockages if the user tries to flush away the used product through embarrassment or leaves the daily cleaner the unpleasant task of emptying the bin and disposing of the contents amongst the general office waste. This is not a service acceptable to many cleaning operatives these days and would not normally be included within an office cleaning contract.

Bridging the gap between this in house, DIY method of disposal and the full range of professional feminine hygiene disposal services, are systems utilising stand alone bins which contain a disposable cartridge. To alleviate any smells they contain deodorising crystals and just like a standard professional disposal bin the flip top operates in such a way that the contents of the internal disposable cartridge are not visible to users.

Once again disposal is carried out by in house staff but at least the internal cartridges can be sealed albeit disposal is still with the general office waste.

Great claims are often made about the biodegradability of these types of sanitary bins and liners. But is this true? When you balance the initial purchase cost of the bins themselves, a constant supply of cartridges and the unpleasantness of exchanging the cartridges then disposing it alongside general waste .The cost versus benefit is not so apparent especially if you are the one who has to change the cartridge as most probably your cleaning staff will refuse point blank.

This leaves the full professional service as the most likely solution to a trouble free, out-of-mind service. Or so you think?

Just like buying any goods or services it is vital that you compare ‘apples with apples not oranges’ otherwise you will end up make a mistake which you are locked into and which in many cases you will be paying for the pleasure of, in advance, for many years to come!

While this might sound elementary you should check whether you need the service at all. If female staff are not employed and your premises are not used by the general public, why bother? If the female staff are of a certain age there might not be a requirement. To avoid any embarrassment or doubt simply ask the staff if they would like the service.

Ladies toilets

Once past these basic fundamentals use the following checklist to ensure you are getting proper value for money by asking your potential sanitary waste disposal supplier:

How often will you exchange the sanitary bins as I want a monthly service for hygiene reasons?

Do you expect me to sign a contract which locks me in for 36 or 60 months?

If you do, what notice do I have to give you and is it on any particular date?

Will you charge me separately each year for a Duty of Care certificate?

Do you charge 13 weeks in advance?

Do your staff just remove the contents of the bin so my staff have to clean it or do they take the whole unit away and hygienically clean it?

Can I have a look at an example of your contract agreement so I can see what small print there is?

If you’re not happy with what you hear call 0800 018 9099 or look at our range and service agreement on sanitary-bins.newlifecleaning.com

Columbus Dixon September 2010.

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