MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- A pilot project providing free menstrual hygiene products in public city washrooms has been a success, and cost less than anticipated.

In Sept. 2019, the city began providing free tampons and pads in 40 city facilities.

The move had unanimous council support and followed a push led by former Virgin Radio London host Rachel Ettinger.

The goal was to destigmatize periods and address period poverty.

Now, a report to the Community and Protective Services Committee finds the cost came in at just over half of the original estimate of $25,000, with most of that the one-time cost of installing dispensers.

In addition, the report found that loss, waste and vandalism was significantly less than expected.

The report recommends the city now roll out free products to all remaining city facilities - another 36 buildings - starting in Jan. 2021, at a cost of $23,000.

The annual ongoing cost to continue to supply the menstrual hygiene products at all city washrooms is expected to be about $8,500 per year.