Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Waste dental amalgam fillings

Disposal of dental amalgam from dental clinicswaste dental amalgam

Waste dental amalgam includes:

  • unwanted amalgam
  • old fillings
  • teeth with fillings
  • grindings
  • surplus amalgam which cannot be reused
  • residues containing amalgam, eg from separators
  • packaging such as capsules containing residues.

What you must do

Disposing of waste dental amalgam

Waste dental amalgam is classified as hazardous/special waste. You must store, transport and dispose of this waste as hazardous/special waste to make sure you do not cause a risk to human health or the environment. You are committing an offence if you do not follow the regulations for dealing with hazardous/special waste.

Hazardous/special waste

You must not mix hazardous/special waste with your other waste or with other types of hazardous/special waste. Segregate your waste so that different wastes types do not get contaminated.

Segregating your healthcare waste

You must complete consignment notes for any hazardous/special waste that leaves your site. You must keep a register containing all of the consignment notes and the consignee returns. You must keep these records for three years.

You must ensure that your waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally. You must comply with your waste responsibilities, known as your duty of care.

Duty of Care: Your waste responsibilities

Dental amalgam must be treated using a mercury recovery process before final disposal.

Amalgam separators

If your practice uses amalgam, it must be fitted with an amalgam separator.

Amalgam separators remove particles of amalgam from waste water. The amalgam particles can then be collected and disposed of as hazardous/special waste. You must position separators to protect all routes by which amalgam may enter the drains.

Your amalgam separators must meet the requirements of the British Standard Dental equipment – amalgam separators (BS EN ISO 11143:2000). You can buy this British Standard online.

British Standards: Dental equipment – amalgam separators (BS EN ISO 11143:2008)

Further information

GOV.UK: Safe management of healthcare waste (UK-wide)

Read more Managing Waste Materials topics on NetRegs

SEE ALSO: Clinical waste, Healthcare sector guidance

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