Amalgam waste can be incredibly bad for the environment and, despite its popular uses for many years, is something that organizations are striving to get away from. That is not always a possibility though.
Even if amalgam is not used at a dental facility, there are rules that may apply requiring the installation of an amalgam separator, and this will generate amalgam sludge and other harmful materials.
The Washington State Department of Ecology has information regarding dental facilities and the variety of toxic waste to be on the lookout for. When amalgam was still used in fillings, there were more recycling options available. Now with low-level, infrequent generation of amalgam waste, it may be best to segregate and dispose of these small amounts. Before doing so, consider these procedures before addressing amalgam waste.
Procedures to Follow When Dealing with Amalgam Waste
Amalgam (metal fillings) contain silver and mercury, which are hazardous waste metals. These metals must be kept out of medical waste. Three of the best management practices to consider when handling amalgam waste at a dental office include the three listed below.
Get UN-rated shipping containers for storing your amalgam waste.
- A one-gallon container is usually best for cost management.
- Remember that disposal is charged by the container size, not by how much is in it.
- Get two or more containers: one for use and another to begin filling when the first has reached its limit.
Keep all amalgam waste separate from your medical waste, or biohazardous waste.
When your container is about 80% full, add disinfectant to the container.
- Make sure nothing is present that will react with household bleach, such as ammonia.
- Make sure the waste can be mixed and get something to mix it with.
- Estimate how much waste volume is in the container.
- Add 10% by volume household bleach to the container.
- Stir the waste and make sure that the bleach is well distributed.
- Close the container, label it, and make sure to indicate that bleach has been added.
Dealing with amalgam materials properly is important for environmental safety.
Dispose of Your Amalgam Waste With WasteXpress
Waste management is very important when dealing with biohazardous waste. Most people lack the proper knowledge and resources to accurately dispose of harmful materials. Fortunately, at WasteXpress, we have the right PPE equipment and expertise to dispose of your amalgam waste.
Serving small businesses and Fortune 500 companies throughout the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years. You can count on us for reliable, compliant, and environmentally friendly waste disposal services.