Commercial Bin Hygiene — Why Is It Important?

You probably have Health & Safety policies and procedures in place for the rubbish bins inside your commercial premises. The contents are cleared to the bin area outside daily (or more frequently), and the bins there are emptied on a regular schedule.

So all your problems are solved? Unfortunately not.

Why Rubbish Can Be a Health Hazard

Rubbish can cause health hazards in a variety of ways. For one thing, the items you throw in the bin can develop harmful bacteria after a few days, especially if there’s food involved.

Of course, you dispose of food waste separately, but you can’t totally separate it out. When you dispose of food packaging, for instance, some food particles may still cling to it. Even the paper you throw away for recycling may have had minute crumbs of food spilt on it.

Far more serious, though, are the pests this rubbish can attract. These can range from rats to cockroaches, and of course the ubiquitous flies that buzz around all rubbish. Whether they leave droppings or spread germs, they can make rubbish bins centres of infection.

What Consequences Can Come from Bins?

Unhygienic rubbish could cause a wide variety of serious illnesses to your customers or employees — or yourself. These range from food poisoning to tetanus to gastroenteritis, and can be spread either person to person or via animals such as rats, mice and flies that carry the infections away from the bins.

Depending on your business, the consequences of allowing this to carry on unchecked can range from being sued by staff or customers to being closed down by health inspectors. Either way, it’s likely to be the end of your business.

But What if the Bins Are Empty?

Unfortunately, bins are never 100% emptied. Bits tend to cling to the sides or bottom, especially if the bags have split or been imperfectly tied. And, in some ways, this can be worse than a full bin, where the contents are emptied before it can get too bad. What’s left behind can stay there month after month — even year after year.

What with rotting food scraps and animal droppings, a dirty bin can not only spread diseases — it also creates a stench. If you’re a customer-facing business, such as a shop, a restaurant or an hotel, you’re likely to lose business from customers being put off or leaving bad reviews, and you could be closed down.

Even if your customers aren’t involved, you have a duty of care to your employees, who could claim compensation from you if their health has been compromised by unhygienic bins.

All this can be avoided by having your bins cleaned and sanitised on a regular basis, immediately after being emptied. If you want to know more about this, why not give us a call to find out more about the process?

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