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Leading industry knowledge of UK waste legislation and guidance

Dental Practice Waste Management

Dentists throughout the UK place their trust in Initial Medical as the leading disposal and recycling company for dental waste. Our understanding of dental waste segregation requirements ensures that we remain at the forefront of this highly regulated industry. We offer a waste management package that suits your individual dental practice to handle waste amalgam, spent capsules, bridges and crowns.

As part of our trusted service, we take every step to ensure the correct and safe handling of amalgam and dental waste. We have a dental recycling plant where you can rest assured your dental waste is disposed of correctly. In our pledge to support environmental practices, we recycle 100% of the recyclable dental waste we collect.

Our dental waste services

As the experts in clinical and dental waste, we also collect and dispose of: amalgamators; veloplex machines; collector cups and filters; sirona motors and old dental pumps. Contact us or below about any of our listed services.

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The dangers of mercury

Mercury is one of the most toxic elements on earth, used to bind together the metals within amalgam. Despite all we know about how potentially harmful mercury is, it is still widely used in UK dentistry due to a lack of alternatives. Whether you personally use amalgam containing mercury or not, previous fillings may contain mercury and therefore each dental practice has an obligation to prepare for the disposal of mercury.

The WHO consider mercury to be one of the top ten chemicals that are a major concern to public health. Mercury is responsible for a host of symptoms and side effects. In the short term, exposure to mercury can lead to memory loss, impaired senses and tremors, and may eventually lead to general weakness, multiple weight issues and a disturbance of the gastrointestinal function.

Once in our waterways, mercury inevitably feeds into our marine life, meaning we are most likely to expose ourselves to mercury through the consumption of fish. We can help you minimise the amount of mercury that reaches the natural environment.

Key legislation for your practice


  • The Control of Mercury (Enforcement) Regulations 2017

    This act concerns the import and export of mercury, mercury added products and mercury compounds. There are rules that must be met surrounding the storage and transportation of mercury and mercury waste.

    The use of mercury by dental practitioners is limited and amalgam waste must be handled and collected by an authorised waste management company. This includes amalgam residues, particles, and teeth or fillings contaminated by dental amalgam. Under no cirumstances should dental practices release dental amalgam into the environment.

    Amalgam separators must be fitted to collect amalgam particles within waste water and provide a retention level of at least 95% of amalgam particles.

    This act must be considered closely as breaches of Regulation (EU) 2017/852 and additional requirements in the Control of Mercury Regulations are criminal offences.


  • Duty of Care - Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 34

    In order to limit the escape of mercury into the environment via dental amalgam, Defra establishes that amalgam separators need to be fitted to dental sinks. All waterways into the drains sytem of your practice must be protected by amalgam separators.

    The Duty of Care section of this legislation states that the waste you produce on your site is your responsibility at all times. Your responsibility is to:

    • Prevent potentially harmful deposit, disposal and treatment of waste
    • Make sure any waste companies you work with have the correct authorisation
    • Prevent a breach (failure) by any other person to meet the requirement to have an environmental permit, or a breach of a permit condition
    • Provide an accurate description of waste when it is handed over to a waste disposal service
    • Prevent waste escaping from your control and ending up in the natural environment

    You can find out more about our the Duty of Care in our blog article.

Other services we can help you with

As well as our specialist dental waste service, we provide a consumables range to help with infection control in your practice and an extensive range of clinical and sharps waste services.

Service promise

1. Contact

Contact us and a member of our expert Initial Medical team will be in touch.

  • Trusted, local consultants
  • Enquiries are returned within 24 hours

2. Survey

We will visit your practice and carry out a comprehensive review of your waste management structure.

  • A free survey from a specialist Initial Medical consultant
  • A bespoke service schedule based on your needs
  • Full guidance on your waste legislation requirements

3. Installation

Our expert technicians will carry out a thorough installation service or provide the required containers if no installation is required.

  • An appointment scheduled at a time to suit you
  • Specialist guidance on how to use and manage your new containers
  • Minimal disruption to your healthcare practice

4. Service

Your local expert technician will service your waste based on your bespoke service agreement.

  • Hands-on support from your local Initial Medical consultant
  • Servicing tailored to suit your business's schedule
  • 24/7 access to service documents through myInitial
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