Amalgam Separator Disposal: What You Need to Know

Choosing a responsible recycling company to haul away the amalgam waste your facility has collected is a critical step for compliance.

Patients sitting in a dental chair are usually there to take care of issues with the teeth in their mouths. Whether it’s a routine cleaning, a quick filling, or other dental procedure. At these visits, the dentist will prod in the mouth with tools, perhaps use sharps or files and drills to adjust, fix and improve the state of someone’s teeth.

As this is being done, pieces of tooth, waste from fillings, blood, saliva, and other particles make their way into the environment. Since some of this can be considered hazardous waste – such as particles from amalgam fillings which may contain mercury – it’s critical that dental facilities properly handle collection and disposal.

What is an Amalgam Separator?

A chair-side collection unit known as an amalgam separator is one of the ways to keep this waste separated for disposal and out of the public sewer systems. The collectors are added to vacuum lines and use gravity as a method to trap solid waste and filter it out before it reaches the sewer and presents public health concerns. There are even separators that contain an ion exchange to help remove mercury from wastewater.

What Dental Facilities Need To Do To Get Compliant

A nationwide regulation on amalgam separators was passed back in July 2017 by the EPA requiring dental practices to properly dispose of all wet or dry amalgam waste through the use of a certified amalgam separator before July 14, 2020.

The agency believes once these are in place, it will reduce the amount of mercury being discharged into the public water supply by 5.1 tons.

In addition to the installation of the separator for amalgam, dental offices must also start a waste disposal program that includes compliant removal of this waste.

What to Look for in a Waste Disposal Company

Choosing a responsible recycling company to haul away the amalgam waste that your facility has collected is a critical step for compliance. Be sure to check with the disposal company to see if they handle the type of waste you’re looking to get rid of, that their services comply with state and federal requirements regarding the pick-up, storage, hauling and disposal processes, and that they can provide you with proof of the process for your own records. 

When it’s time to remove discarded amalgam from your facility, contact Red Bags. We’ll have it safely and securely hauled away in compliance with all standards to give you peace of mind and protect public health.

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Amalgam Separator Disposal

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