A year after Covid-19 threw the world through a loop, most dental facilities have reopened; but things are far from returning to normal. The financial strain that this pandemic has caused has not missed medical and dental practices everywhere. The ever increasing costs of goods has challenged most offices to cap expenses while their business returns to a modicum of normalcy. Recently, one area where dentists are having a hard time keeping costs down is with their waste management.
Dental practices generate copious amounts of dangerous waste--properly managing the recycling or disposal of such waste is crucial in keeping up with infection control standards. In addition, specific state and federal regulations govern each type of dental waste. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the requirements as regulatory non-compliance can result in hefty fines.
Compliance goes beyond financial compliance. One of the most significant effects of improper handling and disposal of waste items is that disease can spread amongst office workers and patients, putting everyone at risk. Conversely, properly handling and disposing of dental waste helps reduce workplace injuries, controls costs, and protects the public and environment from harmful substances.
As a result of all this, Dentists are looking for cradle-to-grave waste management of dental waste that makes sense and is affordable.
Discount Disposables vs. waste pick-up services
Discount Disposables offers an affordable, convenient selection of disposal solutions for each waste stream—sharps, amalgam, red bag waste, X-Ray chemical disposal. In addition, we provide your office dental waste disposal options that consider affordability, convenience, and regulatory compliance.
While pick-up services offer convenience for the various types of dental medical waste, they can become cost-prohibitive; the cost of dental and medical waste pick-up service is steadily on the rise.
The DISCOUNT DISPOSABLES Advantage:
- Convenient — Our innovative Disposal Products include everything you need to dispose of your sharps, red bag waste, and amalgam waste.
- Inexpensive — Postage is prepaid, with no hidden costs. Various sized containers are available to accommodate your size practice.
- No hidden fees — The Disposal Products are easy to use and come with prepaid postage.
- No contract — send when ready, no sudden price increases.
- Pre-paid postage — No hidden costs or fees
- No pick-up date — send when full.
- Certificate of Destruction or Recycling provided
- Government and USPS approved- complete compliance with all Federal, State, and United States Post Office regulations and standards.
Sharps, Amalgam, Red Bag Waste, and X-Ray Chemical Disposal
Dental sharps waste is one of the most common types of hazardous waste dental offices generate. According to the CDC, healthcare employees encounter approximately 385,000 sharp injuries annually. Therefore, improperly disposed sharps pose a significant risk to both healthcare workers and patients.
Our disposal system utilizes an in-office sharps treatment and disposal product, Isolyser/SMS, to dispose of lancets, syringes, needles, and empty carpules. This product completely replaces the expensive waste pick-up company; it is the original in-office treatment product for most practices.
Our biohazard mail-back systems include a primary collection container, prepaid return shipping container, a waste manifest tracking form, and instructions. This product provides complete cradle-to-grave conformity with federal, state, and local regulations. In addition, variable size containers are available to collect clothing, bandages and gauze, biohazard needles, broken glass, and gloves.
Dental offices also produce lesser amounts of non-sharp regulated medical wastes (RMW)—these must also be handled per regulatory guidelines. Items that have the potential of spreading blood-borne pathogens are included in "red bag" waste. These items would include any materials that have been contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).
These "red bag" items carry the risk of infection; proper handling should always be observed at all times. Separating potentially infectious dental waste from other trash protects the health and safety of patients and staff. Ensure that staff is professionally trained on what goes into the red bag waste.
Because dental practices generate manageable red bag waste, Discount Disposables offers a cost-effective way to dispose of it. This class of medical waste can be put in the same (20-gallon) container with the sharps.
"Silver fillings" are an amalgam, an alloy composed of copper, tin, silver, and liquid mercury. If dentists either remove or place fillings without discharge safety measures, mercury can be released into the wastewater stream, causing toxicity.
According to the EPA, "studies show that dental offices are the largest source of mercury discharges to publicly owned treatment works (POTWS), contributing about half of the mercury…." The ensuing compounds are extremely toxic.
When an amalgam separator is installed, the dental practice then needs to utilize a recycling program to manage the separator and collect the mercury in compliance with the regulatory commissions.
Discount Disposables utilizes Amalgon recycling to manage amalgam-tainted items responsibly. The process is straightforward: fill the container with amalgam waste items and attach the pre-paid label. The package is then shipped via UPS to a licensed EPA processing center; the mercury in the amalgam waste is separated from other waste, processed, and recycled.
When exploring how to proceed with the best treatment for a patient, typically, X-rays need to be taken. However, X-rays have become a main focal point for both the ADA and EPA.
Fixer solutions films, foils, and solutions contain silver. While dental offices do not create a significant amount of silver waste from X-rays, they still must remain cognizant of properly handling the disposal of such material.
Although an ADA report states that there is an insignificant amount of silver in solutions and does not have any harmful effects on the environment, some local waste-water agencies limit how much silver can enter wastewater. Silver recovery cartridges, recycling, or disposing of silver as hazardous waste are all possible solutions.
- Check with the manufacturer of the fixer solution for any take-back options.
- Take the used solution to a designated silver waste drop-off location.
- Install a silver recovery that can also recycle the cartridge.
- Send it to a facility that reclaims silver.
- Use a pick-up service that offers recycling options.
Compliance can often seem like an overwhelming task. However, there are simply no shortcuts in safety and the infection protection of staff and patients.
Discount Disposables is committed to our customers. Our goal is to make responsible dental medical waste disposal a simple, convenient, and inexpensive task for our customers. Our mail-back systems are safe and affordable solutions; each system includes everything you need to package and dispose of your dental waste items. In addition, our disposal systems have had strict testing to ensure compliance with USPS's guidelines.
At Discount Disposables, we focus on providing the friendliest, most well-informed customer service. We offer same-day shipping, the highest quality products at outstanding prices. We have been supplying quality products to healthcare and dental professionals since 1989—check out our comprehensive online catalogue of top brand products for disposal and infection control; ensure the safety of your practice.
Contact us today to request free samples, learn more about our monthly specials and discuss your office's needs so that we can better serve you and provide excellent customer service.
We are committed to and guarantee your satisfaction with all of our products. Call us today or contact us via email on weekdays from 8:00 am PST to 5:00 pm PST.