Waste Management

The following is a basic checklist for waste management, be sure to check with your State, County and City agencies for specific requirements.


  • An Amalgam/Mercury management plan that includes the policies & procedures for handling and discarding Amalgam/Mercury is established and all staff members have reviewed.
  • Amalgam Safes are located in each operatory where amalgam is placed.
  • Trap filters are in use and maintained in each operatory. When amalgam is placed or removed traps are discarded in an Amalgam Waste Container which is removed by a waste management service.
  • Empty amalgam capsules are discarded in the Amalgam Waste Container.
  • An Amalgam/Mercury Separator is in use.  (either by regulation or by voluntary)
  • If an Amalgam/Mercury Separator is not in use, the vacuum filter is discarded in the Amalgam Waste Container.
  • Only Amalgam/Mercury Separator safe vacuum line cleaner is used.  (Read the label of the vacuum line cleaner before using and determine if safe with separators)
  • Staff receives yearly training on Amalgam/Mercury management.

Hazardous Waste Materials

Most Cities and Counties have a “Zero Tolerance Policy” when it comes to discharging chemicals and hazardous materials into the waste systems.  The following common items, if used, must be removed by a waste management service,

  • Lead
  • Fixer
  • Sharps
  • Amalgam/Mercury (unused & scrap)

Note: Lead and Amalgam must be properly contained and the container clearly marked.  An Amalgam Safe is highly recommended.  Your Waste Management will advise you as to the proper storage containers to be used.

  • Developer
  • Vapor-Sterile
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cold Sterile (containing glutaraldehyde)

Universal Waste Rule

The State’s Universal Waste Rule prohibits specific items to be discarded into the standard trash system, therefore must be collected and discarded properly.  Check with your city (home & business) website for additional information.  The following are basic items,

  • Used Batteries
  • Fluorescent Tubes
  • Electronic Devices
  • Electronic Components
  • Vapor Filled Light Bulbs
  • Compressed propellant items
  • Staff receives yearly training on Hazardous Waste management.

Waste Management Recordkeeping

  • When waste products are removed from the office, a record in the form of a manifest or receipt must be obtained.  (Self-contained systems are exempt)
  • Manifest must indicate each item that is removed from the business. Manifest that “group” items are not acceptable.
  • Manifests are stored in a binder or folder in an organized manner.

Dental compliance and safety expert who conducts seminars on a variety of topics relating to dentistry.

Staying current with dental compliance is too easy!

Staying current with dental compliance is too easy!

Staying current with dental compliance is too easy! Get my free newsletter for information, tips, and secrets to achieving an exceptional safety standard for patients, employees, and the environment.
Did I mention my newsletter is Free?

* indicates required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *