embarrassing question : hi all sorry to ask... - LUPUS UK


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embarrassing question

Harry19 profile image

hi all

sorry to ask embarrassing question . In wales we have small bins collected fortnightly . I’m struggling with incontinence . This means I’m putting solid pads in my general waste to sit around .

Can we have a clinical bin for such things ?

34 Replies

Not an embarrassing question at all. I wonder if Age UK would be the people to ask (age really irrelevant). They will be the experts in this and most certainly will put your mind at rest. Hope this helps a little. xx

Perhaps ask the council ?

Good question: glad you’ve asked, Harry👏👏👏👏 I’m curious too about how others manage this!

I’m in East Anglia. Some time ago, my GP surgery advised me that patients like us self-refer online or by phone to our local NHS Bowel & Bladder Clinic when we need help re our incontinence.

Since then, my experience with our local B&B clinic has been wonderful. When I asked them the question you’ve posted, they advised me that yellow bins are only for clinical waste ie sharps etc. & that I should sort my pads out the way folk do baby diapers, eg flush everything that is stool or urine you can in the toilet etc, & bag up all the materials etc of the toilet-rinsed pads etc & put them in our bin with the rest of our household rubbish. But we’ve never had opportunity to deal with baby diapers, so this was new too us! hope you’ll let us know if you discover a better way of dealing with this.

On the other hand, Immunology has me doing long term weekly infusions involving needles, lines & IgG serum, all of which does go in yellow bins supplied by the clinical homecare providers my immunology clinic uses.

Hope something in there helps 💞💞💞💞 Coco

NB for sure we must never flush anything down toilets except toilet paper, stool & urine

Suvi8901 profile image
Suvi8901 in reply to Barnclown

“I should sort my pads out the way folk do baby diapers, eg flush everything you can in the toilet etc, ”?===

Not so sure about this.🧐

Used pads, nappies, wet wipes, cotton pads etc are known to block up sewer pipes!

Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to Suvi8901

OMG: THANKS: I worded that badly

Of Course: ABSOLUTELY: you’re so right! But that’s only part of the advice in my reply above…here’s the full advice from that reply:

‘I should sort my pads out the way folk do baby diapers, eg flush everything you can in the toilet etc, & bag up the toilet-rinsed pads etc & put them in our bin with the rest of our household rubbish’

By “everything you can’ I meant: everything that’s stool in all it’s types -as per the Bristol Stool Chart

YIKES: Never Ever flush the actual pads etc! I’ve now made that reply above clearer👍

chrisj profile image
chrisj in reply to Suvi8901

....and they do. My neighbour blocked the sewer between hers and my house with nappy liners and until the liners were found by a workman, she thought it was me!! I found it very satisfying to tell her after I'd asked the man what the problem was...I don't flush anything outside of loo paper down my loo. I wrap it and dispose of it in the domestic rubbish bin.

Croes profile image
Croes in reply to Barnclown

I live in Monmouthshire not far from you we have yellow bags for nappies and wet wipes which are incinerated. I don’t know if it’s the same for Newport

Dottie11 profile image
Dottie11 in reply to Croes

Yes I am in West Wales . Although in the process of re locating.

Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to Croes

Pretty much all our non-recyclable rubbish is incinerated here in our part of Suffolk ..probably why the NHS specialist Bowel & Bladder Clinic advised me the way she has - I checked this disposal issue with that clinic recently, & they are still giving the same advice

Barnclown, I just read your post and am wondering if you are dealing with Mast Activation Cell Syndrone issues or something similiar. I have lupus and have had intestinal issues off and on forever, but after having Covid in Nov. 2020, I have chronic diarrhea and am currently seeing an immunologist. I can check almost all the boxes for MCAS, but so may are the same as lupus. If you are dealing with diarrhea, any help would be great like what other symptoms and triggers, etc. I admit I am obsessing over this it is affecting my quality of life. It is difficult to go anywhere, etc. having no control. Thank you.

Healing hugs.

😍👋👋👋👋Thanks for thinking of this Pumpkin! Am sorry you’tr going through this ordeal…& am very glad you’re being carefully investigated & I hope you’ll let us know how this goes

Yes, for quite a few years immunology, gastroenterology & i have been aware that a type of MCAD may be in my mix, not only because of my visceral hypersensitivity to food & food residue + Chronic Intestinal Failure (a v rare type of organ failure: the small intestines stops functioning - which is why I’ve been off all food for almost 6 years now ( getting nutrition from prescription Elemental Diet - predigested amino acids) ) but also because of my Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction - another rare GI tract condition affecting a high proportion of hEDS patients. You probably know EDS folk are prone to MCADs

So, over the years, Immunology has run basic tests for a MCD, but the results are normal, so far - you probably know this does happen even when a person does have a MCAD (these are quite tricky to diagnose). Anyway, so far, the reasons for my incontinence issues are relatively more related to my neuropathiesinc the severe scoliosis & the meds I’m prescribed to manage the Pseudo-Obstruction than a MCAD…but the possibility does remain…because inflammatory process does seem involved 🤷🏼‍♀️

Thanks again & good luck 💞💞💞💞

Hi Harry, Might be worth contacting your local council, rubbish collection or Waste Savers. I believe some areas of Wales have special bins for nappies and incontinence issues. They are keen to avoid flushing such items down the toilet due to problems with waste pipes etc. Good luck

This is a huge waste disposal problem for everyone.

My understanding from local authorities and water companies is this:

* Never flush nappies, diapers, wet wipes (even those labelled as ‘ flushable’), paper towels, cotton buds, cotton pads, incontinence pads, condoms, food, fat etc down the toilet bowl.

They clog up sewer pipes!

Can completely block the pipe. Awful!

Mostly end up on sewer outlets in rivers, beaches etc.


These should all be bagged up and put in the Black bin ie for landfill. Not the green recyclable bin!

The only ITEMS for the toilet bowl are:

💩 POO, WEE (urine), vomit?, toilet tissue.

I think in Japan one is supposed to bag up even used toilet paper because some brands will block sewer pipes.

We must all spare more than a thought for the sewerage workers?

I bag and bin all my incontinence pads!👏

Sharps: needles, fingerprickers, derma blades go in the clinical waste bin!

Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to Suvi8901

Great reply! Much clearer than mine, and EXACTLY what I was trying to put into words

Again, THANKS for giving me a chance to explain 🤩

Suvi8901 profile image
Suvi8901 in reply to Barnclown

Hi there,

I once watched a BBC news documentary on the “greatest fat ball ever” .🥺

It was about a blocked sewer pipe at Sidmouth Beach.

It was pretty shocking but stuck in that giant fat ball were all sorts of waste sticking to it: cotton buds, wet wipes, soiled pads, nappies etc.

Gave me nightmares for weeks!😱

I felt so sorry for those workers having to clear it and also angry at the locals for spoiling their beach 😰.

Another thing about waste is all these meds getting into the water supply. Yet another nightmare!

Very grateful to Harry19 for raising this topic.👏


Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to Suvi8901

🤦🏼‍♀️ ME TOO: & pretty much ever since EVERY DAY images from the documentary pop up in my mind’s eye like my other PTSD flashbacks…😱HORRIFYING images of those HUGE totally revolting messes & the poor brave determined folk having to sort them out

Finding a relatively ‘good’ way of managing our waste of all types has always been a big issue for me - & am on the verge of 69 with infant onset immune dysfunction & connective tissue disorder illnesses & managing waste due to illness is even more of a challenge now, eg my repeat prescrips run to 8 pages. And EVERY med is really truly madly deeply helping.🤷🏼‍♀️

When incontinence set in, I felt 🤯: how can I possible bear the guilt of generating all this waste…& then, due to the pandemic, immunology switched me from 3-weekly IVIG on infusion ward to weekly DIY subcutaneous IgG serum home-infusions…here’s a snap my SIL took last week. So now I generate even more waste 😖…our specialist immunology nurses tell me I mustn’t worry cause these infusions are saving my life, but…..🤷🏼‍♀️

Someone, (maybe you?), posted on HU that Super Drug is recycling empty tablet strips…my husband is looking into this for me ✌️💞

Taken on the day temps here hit 39c😅
Suvi8901 profile image
Suvi8901 in reply to Barnclown

Hi Barnclown,

What a wonderful post and such consideration for all the waste, we as sick people produce!👏👏

“Recycling empty tablet strips”👏👏.

Yes, most certainly!

All blister packets (tablets and capsules) and I have a huge prescription (probably like you) are made from PLASTIC, cardboard, aluminium foil and paper.

The whole lot go into the huge green recycling bin (wheelie) provided by the council.

Even my empty plastic injector pens (without the needles of course) go into the green recycling bin and not for landfill!

Hope that they are actually recycled by my council rather than put on a raft for some Asian country?

Plastic waste is yet another huge global concern!😰 as documented by the BBC & SKY News.

We as individuals can only do so much.

Barnclown please don’t beat yourself up!

You’re more than doing your bit for this 🌍 👏👆💕


Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to Suvi8901

🤗Thanks! Will TRY to beat myself up less 💞….you’re right: we gotta just try to do the best we can….my other half studies our council’s advices/requirements re what stuff goes into which bin & it’s so detailed & strict, eg no foil allowed in recycling 🙄…this discussion has me v impressed with the way Wales handles its waste: much more enlightened & inclusive than they do here.

IgG serum is classed as hazardous waste, as is anything touched by it, so we’re firmly instructed that even the Clinell wipes used to prep the bottles & stuff like the drapes on our infusion trays go in the yellow bin….immunology says the serum really can be dangerous to others - probably 1 reason the NHS makes us sign contracts when we go on long term IgG Replacement Therapy🤷🏼‍♀️……

chrisj profile image
chrisj in reply to Suvi8901

couldn't agree more...

Pembrokeshire council deliver bags of a different colour from those designed for general waste so other councils probably do too. I think you have to ask for them.

My council only does the yellow “sharps” bins. For me, I use dog poo bags; the ones with handles are easiest. Roll up your pads etc, tie them up, then in the bin.

Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to Lupiknits


Me too: ours only does yellow sharps bins for clinical waste …& can give a bigger black bin, but now special bin for nappies or incontinence waste

🤩 glad you replied: that’s a Great System! We can do this too!


From our council website


I’m in Pembrokeshire and our council run a purple bin scheme for such waste, nappies, incontinence etc. So a completely separate bin and collection.

I would say contact your council for info, might even be an online form to request such a bin, as I think that’s on my online council account, (where I can check council tax payments and the kids dinner money account balances etc).

Good luck


I am humbled and astonished at the willingness of a government/society to address this issue and devise a system for such a private issue. I do not believe the US has any system in place for this. Perhaps hospitals do. And there are many places here that do not have recycling services. My area in New Orleans is one. Awful.

Nappy sacks are what I suggest and have your bin professionally washed regularly xxx

🤩THANKS…have never had to deal with baby diapers, so unaware these exist! 👏👏👏👏


Guessing we can get these at most supermarkets & pharmacies🤷🏼‍♀️

Some of the discount stores or supermarkets sell them for 99p x


Hi there, I thought I would stick my oar in here. I have slight incontinence of the bladder so have no real experience of bowel incontinence, but I bought myself several pairs of incontinence pants which means that they go in the washing machine and involve no waste at all. They have totally changed my life as I was embarrassed tbh, but even my husband hasn't noticed that they're different to any other underwear. They are expensive at the start, but won't be if you have to buy your own pads. So successful have they been for me, that I bought the male version for my brother who has moderate learning difficulties and manages them well because they are just pants. No more embarrassing wet patches, thank goodness. The company where I buy them from are so helpful too. They do get better with each wash. The name of the company is cheekywipes.com; they make lots of reusable products such as makeup wipes which is how I first discovered them. My current problem of bowel stuff is how do I manage the self check bowel cancer test for my brother who cannot even manage to shower himself let alone negotiate this self test due to his moderate learning difficulties. He can't do it and he doesn't want me to do it. Have a good day lovely peeps xx


Sorry to hear but bowel cancer self screening is important.

I had to do it twice.

Lucky both were negative.

Here’s a useful NHS video for the FIT (faecal immunochemical test):


I think Dame Debs James who died tragically young aged 40 of terminal bowel cancer would wish us all to be less squeamish about 💩 .

She was too young to be in the NHS screening group.😰

Hope it all goes well with your brother.


Hi Harry, I live in Wales and there are hygiene collections weekly. If you go onto your Council website and look at the recycling section you will see there is a section for Hygiene waste. You can then order yellow bags which the council will pop through your letter box and a hygiene collection which they will collect from the front of your property every week. Honestly it is very easy to arrange and then you just need to reorder the bags when you require them.

I live in a block of flats which are sheltered housing. We have a separate bin for clinical waste which includes soiled items. There are yellow bags to put the soiled items in and the bags are put into the special bin. The council collect weekly and replace the bags.

Hi Harry19, not an embarassing question at all. Maybe contact your local council and check with them . I'm in Middlesex and our yellow bins are for sharps and dressings I was told incontinence pads go in the general waste just like nappies. I tend to put mine in a nappy bag (you can get them from the supermarkets and wilkinsons quite cheaply) then they go in the bin bag thats in my bathroom and finally into the black bin bag.

In Ceredigion if you contact the council they might help as they collect nappies etc. If the recycling can't help then maybe social services. Hope this helps.

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