Mercury-Containing Dental Amalgam Disposal

University at Buffalo Crest

Policy Information

Date Established: 8/27/2009
Date Last Updated: -
Category: Environmental, Health and Safety
Responsible Office:
Environment, Health and Safety
Responsible Executive:
Associate Vice President for Facilities

Policy Contents

Disposal of Mecury Containing Dental Amalgam


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for the proper disposal of mercury containing dental amalgam and dental amalgam waste from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine (SDM). All mercury amalgam collected must be sent for recycling.


This policy applies to all SDM persons who handle or package mercury amalgam used in dental procedures.

Applicable Guidelines

  • 6NYCRR Subpart 374-4 Standards for the Management of Elemental Mercury and Dental Amalgam Waste at Dental Facilities


The primary responsibility for following this policy rests with the various staff within the SDM who handles mercury amalgam waste. It is their responsibility to ensure amalgam waste is properly collected packaged and stored pending disposal. UB Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) will be responsible for picking up the packaged amalgam (in DOT approved boxes) from the SDM, arranging disposal, and the management of all required associated paperwork.


Mercury Dental Amalgam

An alloy which contains mercury and other metals used in the practice of dentistry.

Dental Amalgam Waste

Any waste from a dental facility containing dental amalgam that has been in contact with the dental patient, dental amalgam that has not been in contact with the patient, such as excess amalgam mix, used capsules, amalgam left over after dental procedures, and any amalgam that may have accumulated in the plumbing system of the dental facility.


  1. Dental amalgam and associated materials must be collected from varies sources within the SDM. Those may include but not limited to extracted teeth with dental amalgam restorations, carving scrap collected at chair-side, dental amalgam captured by chair-side traps, vacuum pump filters, amalgam separators or other dental capture devices. Also included is amalgam that has not been in contact with the patient including but not limited to; excess dental amalgam mix and the used preencapsulated dental amalgam mix and the used pre-encapsulated dental amalgam capsules remaining at the end of a dental procedure. Any amalgam that has accumulated in the building plumbing system must also be collected.
  2. All amalgam related materials will be collected and stored in air-tight, leak proof and structurally sound containers. A ridged plastic jar with a tight fitting top is acceptable for this purpose.
  3. The container must be labeled with the type of amalgam waste contained inside and the date that the first amount of waste was placed inside.
  4. The container(s) holding the dental amalgam waste must be kept tightly closed except when adding or removing its contents.
  5. Containers of amalgam waste must be removed and disposed from the SDM within one year from the date waste was initially placed in the container.
  6. When the containers are ready for disposal, they must be placed in specially designated cardboard shipping boxes supplied by UB EHS, sealed tight with packing tape and labeled. Contact the EHS Hazardous Waste Manager who will arrange for pickup and also arrange for recycling through an approved vendor.

Document Management

This procedure shall be reviewed once every two years, or as changes require.

Document Revision History

Revision Section(s) Changed
Change(s) Made Date
1 All Reformatted for web 1/2018

Contact Information

Department Phone
Environment, Health and Safety 716-829-3301
University Police 716-645-2222

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