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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Frequently Asked Questions
Small Quantity Generators
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  • Where can I go to find more info about amalgam management?
    Go to the Mercury Waste in Dental Offices page for more information on how to deal with mercury waste from dental practices.
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  • If I request NH Pollution Prevention Program to visit my dental office, what type of questions should I expect?
    When the NHPPP visits a dental office, they review amalgam management, silver recovery, and universal waste recycling. The Dental Office Waste Management Evaluation ReportMicrosoft Word Symbolis a simple "checklist" of questions used by staff to determine compliance and pollution prevention opportunities.
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  • What are typical hazardous wastes at dental facilities?
    Three common hazardous wastes are generated by dental facilities:
    • Silver from x-ray processing
    • Mercury from amalgam
    • Lead from foils and shields
    If these wastes are properly recycled, they will not contribute to your facility's generator status. Visit Management of Wastes from Dental Offices for a complete listing of wastes and recycling information.
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  • Is our facility a small or full quantity generator?
    If your facility generates less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month, you are considered a "small quantity generator" according to New Hampshire Hazardous Waste Rules. If your facility generates greater than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month, you are a "full quantity generator." Most New Hampshire dental offices are small quantity generators. Visit One Stop to determine your current generator status.
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  • How can we reduce the amount of waste generated at our facility?
  • Switch to alternative restoration.
  • Use digital x-rays.
  • Use a silver recovery unit. Ask your silver recycler if they can take your facility's removed amalgam.
  • Purchase only the amount of product needed.
  • Train your employees on proper process techniques to reduce needless spills.
  • Separate your hazardous and solid wastes. This will eliminate excess amounts of hazardous material generated, by distinguishing those that can be discarded as solid waste.
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  • What are the differences between Universal and Hazardous Wastes?
    Universal wastes are wastes that meet the definition of hazardous waste in the NH Hazardous Waste Rules. They are generated by all segments of the population and, unfortunately, often improperly disposed of by the people who generate them. In an effort to make it easier and more cost effective to properly manage these wastes, the Universal Waste Rules exempts the wastes from the more burdensome Hazardous Waste Rules requirements, as long as they are managed to prevent release to the environment and properly recycled or disposed of.

    Links to information on specific New Hampshire universal wastes:

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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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