The waste in a dental practice partly consists of material that is described in the law as 'hazardous waste' because it is contaminated. This includes injection needles and scalpel blades and the like. These materials must be handed over to the waste processing company in the special containers described above. This waste can not be given with the residual waste, but only to companies that have a permit to process it.
The image below shows which different categories of 'hazardous waste' must be stored.
- Dry mercury-containing waste: Only empty amalgam capsules and amalgam-contaminated tissues;
- Wet mercury-containing waste: Only extracted elements and sieves from the suction hoses (or residues originating from them);
- Sharp waste: Carpules, injection needles, scalpel blades;
- Amalgam remains of unused amalgam, stored under environmentally friendly liquid (Recyclean from DRS);
- if applicable: lead foil and old radiographs plus developer and fixer (separated!).
An interchangeable amalgam separator can also be included in the package. The separator must in any case be exchanged when the 'hazardous waste' is collected, but under certain circumstances a sensor can indicate that the separator already needs to be changed in the meantime.
Always wear sturdy disposable gloves, protective goggles and a mouth-nose mask when changing the amalgam separator!
Record the dates on which the 'hazardous waste' is collected. Put this clearly in the agenda and ensure that everything is correctly packaged well in advance. Patient treatment then does not have to be interrupted for a long time before delivery.