Handling Amalgam Waste
All amalgam waste generated at dental practices and facilities must be sent to recyclers that reclaim mercury from the amalgam waste material. This is a form of recycling. It is illegal to throw amalgam waste into the trash (i.e., to treat it as solid waste) or to mix amalgam with medical or "red bag" waste.
There are two types of amalgam wastes (both of which must be recycled):
- Contact amalgam has been used on patients and generally includes extracted teeth, scrap amalgam from removed fillings, chair-side traps and screens, and sludge from vacuum pump filters, amalgam separators, and other devices that capture waste amalgam.
- Non-contact amalgam has never been used on patients and generally includes broken and unusable amalgam capsules, excess amalgam, and empty capsules from restorative treatments.
All amalgam wastes should be stored safely in air-tight containers with secure lids until enough has been collected for shipment to a reclamation facility or recycler. See: Recommended Best Practices for Handling Amalgam & Mercury Wastes
To recycle amalgam waste, you may send it directly to a recycling facility that has obtained a Class A Hazardous Waste Recycling Permit from MassDEP, or a recycling facility located in another state that is authorized by that state to reclaim mercury. You may send it to a licensed hazardous waste facility or a consolidation facility, which will in turn send the amalgam waste to a reclamation facility.
A common carrier (such as the U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel Service, Federal Express, or other shipping service) may be used to transport amalgam waste. You are not required to use a licensed hazardous waste transporter. Some amalgam separator vendors provide shipping services as part of a standard maintenance agreement. Your reclamation facility and/or shipping service can assist you with necessary record-keeping, packaging, and labeling.
List of Amalgam Mercury Recyclers
The companies listed below handle dental amalgam waste containing mercury. Before you sign a contract with a recycler, you may want to ask how and where the mercury from your waste amalgam will be recycled. You also should ensure that the company is in compliance with applicable federal and state environmental requirements. Consult the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) about facilities located in this state, or the appropriate environmental regulatory agency about companies located outside of Massachusetts. MassDEP will update this list as additional information becomes available.
Bethlehem Apparatus Co.
890 Front Street
P.O. Box Y
Hellertown, PA 18055
181 East Halsey Road
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Mercury Waste Solutions Inc.
21211 Durand Avenue
Union Grove, WI 53182
Onyx Special Services
1275 Mineral Spring Drive
Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074
Heritage Environmental Services
7901 W Morris St.
Indianapolis, IN 46231
Dental Eco Service (Metasys Medizintechnik Group)
A-6063 Rum bei
5001 SW 74th CT Suite 206
Miami, FL 33155
Updated October 2012