ADA Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste

The ADA's Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Amalgam Waste provide general guidelines for dentists nationwide and are summarized in the table below. Dentists are encouraged to use them to help reduce the effects of amalgam waste on the environment. 

DO

DON'T

DO use precapsulated alloys and stock a variety of capsule sizes.

DON'T use bulk mercury.

DO recycle used disposable amalgam capsules.

DON'T put used disposable amalgam capsules in biohazard containers, infectious waste containers (red bags) or regular garbage.

DO salvage, store and recycle non-contact amalgam (scrap amalgam).

DON'T put non-contact amalgam waste in biohazard containers, infectious waste containers (red bags) or regular garbage.

DO salvage (contact) amalgam pieces from restorations after removal and recycle the amalgam waste.
DON'T put contact amalgam waste in biohazard containers, infectious waste containers (red bags) or regular garbage.

DO use chair-side traps, vacuum pump filters and amalgam separators to retain amalgam and recycle their contents.

DON'T rinse devices containing amalgam over drains or sinks.

DO recycle teeth that contain amalgam restorations. (Note: Ask your recycler whether or not extracted teeth with amalgam restorations require disinfection.)

DON'T dispose of extracted teeth that contain amalgam restorations in biohazard containers, infectious waste containers (red bags), sharps containers or regular garbage.
DO manage amalgam waste through recycling as much as possible.
DON'T flush amalgam waste down the drain or toilet.
DO use line cleaners that minimize dissolution of amalgam.