Council hopes to support men's health through Bins 4 Blokes

There are 1.34 million men and boys across Australia who are living with incontinence. Picture: Shutterstock
There are 1.34 million men and boys across Australia who are living with incontinence. Picture: Shutterstock

There are 1.34 million men and boys across Australia who are living with incontinence.

Yet there are very few public restrooms that offer men a safe and environmentally friendly place to dispose of incontinence products.

But councillor Cindy Cagney wants to change that.

Cr Cagney raised a notice of motion at last night's ordinary council meeting to have council staff investigate the feasibility of installing Bins 4 Blokes in the region's public toilets.

"I work across the aged care sector and part of my role is organising forums for providers about emerging issues and information for the elderly," she said.

"At one of the forums a woman from the Continence Foundation of Australia spoke about this issue.

"It was like a lightbulb moment for me because it wasn't something I had ever thought about before."

A study of Australian men with urinary incontinence found that 50 per cent of them would avoid situations where they could not access a toilet safely.

It also found that between 20 and 43 per cent of men and boys who are struggling with incontinence also suffer depression.

Cr Cagney said having bins installed in male public toilets would help to support local men who are living with this issue.

"They might choose not to go out, or go to events because they are worried about disposing the product," she said.

"Without bins it would require them to not only carry the incontinence product in but then put it in a bag or something and carry it out.

"It's not just men with prostate cancer who might struggle with this but there are a number of factors that can lead to incontinence."

Councillors unanimously supported Cr Cagney's idea.

"The Continence Foundation of Australia has a lot of resources on its website - they've basically done the work for us," she said.

"It was nice to see everyone embrace the strategy.

"I am happy leave it in the hands of the council staff to look at what should be done - they are the experts.

"It was mentioned that some parks in the region have unisex bathrooms with female sanitary bins in there so now we need to look at whether those bins would also be suitable for disposal of male items.

"Part of my notice of motion was also to take this idea to the local government conference so that we can pitch this idea to other councils in NSW as well."