This program helps reduce the amount of mercury that Massachusetts dental practices and facilities release into the environment.
About the Dental Program
Dental practices and clinics release a significant amount of mercury into the environment when they dispose of waste from amalgam fillings in the trash or down the drain.
The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) in 2005 implemented a voluntary program in cooperation with the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) to encourage early installation and use of amalgam separators by dentists.
In 2006, with input from MDS, individual dentists and other stakeholders, the agency issued regulations requiring most dental practices and facilities in Massachusetts to:
- Install and operate amalgam separator systems,
- Recycle mercury-containing amalgam wastes, and
- Periodically certify their compliance with these requirements.
Follow the links in Additional Resources below to learn more about University of Massachusetts research that confirmed amalgam separator technologies are effective at removing most mercury from dental wastewater.
Additional Resources for About the Dental Program
Specific Program Requirements
MassDEP requires Massachusetts dental practices or facilities that place or remove mercury amalgam fillings to:
- Install amalgam separator systems that remove at least 98 percent of amalgam waste containing mercury (using the ISO 11143 protocol or an equivalent method) and serve all dental chairs where amalgam waste is generated.
- Maintain and operate amalgam separator systems according to manufacturer specifications.
- Use only biodegradable disinfectants and non-corrosive, non-oxidizing cleaners in vacuum system lines and drains connected to amalgam separators.
- Recycle all mercury-containing amalgam wastes they generate.
- Inform staff about the procedures for handling waste amalgam and ensure that at least one employee is familiar with separator system operation and maintenance.
- Keep records of separator system maintenance and service, as well as amalgam waste shipments, to document compliance with program requirements.
- Submit a compliance certification form to MassDEP within 60 days of initial separator system installation and by March 31 of every even-numbered year thereafter.
See the regulations and best practices in Additional Resources below for more specific information.
Additional Resources for Specific Program Requirements
Approved Amalgam Separator Systems
The following amalgam separators have been tested using a protocol established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Protocol 11143 and found to remove at least 98 percent of mercury from wastewater at specified volumes over time.
AB Dental Trends
METASYS Group (USA Agent)
American Dental Accessories, Inc.
R&D Services Inc.
Crosstex International Inc.
Updated July 2018
Amalgam Mercury Recycling & Recyclers
To safely recycle dental amalgam waste that contains mercury:
- Accumulate and store it in an air-tight container with a secure lid until you have collected enough for shipment to a reclamation facility or recycler.
- Send it directly to a recycling facility that has obtained the proper environmental approvals in the state where it is located. MassDEP can confirm the compliance status of Massachusetts facilities.
- You may use a common carrier (e.g., U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, or other shipping company) to transport amalgam waste.
The following companies accept dental amalgam waste for recycling.
|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
|Dental Eco Service (USA Agent)
5001 SW 74th Court Suite 206
Miami, FL 33155
|Heritage Environmental Services
6510 Telecom Drive, Suite 400
Indianapolis, IN 46231
Updated February 2018
Who Needs to Certify & When
The MassDEP Dental Amalgam/Mercury Recycling program applies to dental practices or facilities that place or remove mercury amalgam fillings. Typically, these are general dentistry and endodontics offices.
Offices that perform oral or maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, or periodontics are generally not subject to these regulations unless they also place or remove mercury amalgam fillings.
How to File Your Certification
- Review the Dental Certification Form Instructions in Additional Resources below.
- Login to eDEP Online Filing. Note: If you are a new eDEP user, you will need to create an account first.
- After login, click Forms, then Business Sectors, then the Start Transaction button corresponding to the Dental Amalgam/Mercury Recycling Certification.
- Submit your certification and pay your $200 fee by credit card.