Belfast Telegraph

Charity hits out at lack of sanitary bins in council toilets here

By Allan Preston

Councils must provide sanitary bins in more public toilets, a local charity has said.

Katherine McDonnell from Homeless Period Belfast hit out at Newry, Mourne and Down Council when it emerged that it had not installed sanitary bins in any of its 31 toilets.

The council has said it is not legally obliged to do so.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms McDonnell said: "Periods are a taboo issue and people often forget about how it impacts women.

"Some people just don't think about it being an issue, but it is."

She said the lack of bins meant women may feel forced to flush items down the toilet, potentially causing blockages, or to leave items in the toilet, which could result in complaints about cleanliness.

BBC News reported that Northern Ireland's 11 councils provide 258 public toilets, but only 160 of them have sanitary bins.

Belfast City, Ards and North Down, and Causeway Coast and Glens provide sanitary bins in all of their toilets.

Fermanagh and Omagh Council has them in 31 out of its 45 public toilets.

It said that some of the facilities are older and bins weren't installed as they were considered a security risk during the Troubles.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon has bins in 16 out of 26 facilities, while Antrim and Newtownabbey has them in seven out of 13.

Mid and East Antrim Council said it only has sanitary bins in female toilets while Mid Ulster Council said it has installed bins in the busiest areas.

Elsewhere, Derry and Strabane Council said it planned to give the public greater access by implementing a community toilet scheme with local businesses.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council as well as Lisburn and Castlereagh Council said they would soon install sanitary bins in all of their public toilets.

Belfast Telegraph

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