Dental offices create hazardous, universal and solid waste in their day-to-day practices. Wastes include: mercury (amalgam, mercury-containing devices), silver (x-ray fixer), lead (shields, aprons, foils, batteries, computers), x-ray developer, medical waste (blood, sharps), disinfectant chemicals, as well as general office waste. A detailed summary of recommended handling procedures for these wastes is outlined in the Best Management Practices for Dental Offices in New Hampshire, prepared by NHDES and the NH Dental Society.
Environmental Protection Agency Identification Number (EPA ID)
Generators of hazardous wastes are required to obtain an EPA ID. Dental offices usually generate silver, mercury, and lead, which are all classified as hazardous waste, but this does not necessarily mean that all dental offices need an EPA ID number; it depends on the management of these wastes.
Does your dental office:
- Recycle amalgam and fluorescent bulbs?
- Recycle lead foil, aprons, shields, batteries, and computers?
- Recover silver from spent fixer as a result of photo-processing (x-ray)? And is the silver collected in the canister is sent for recycle?
If you answer "NO" to any of the questions, then your dental office will need an EPA ID number. To obtain an EPA ID number, the dental office should notify the Department of Environmental Services by contact the Reporting and Information Management Section at (603) 271-2901, complete the notification form, and pay an initial notification fee of $150.