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Anterior Quest | Amalagam Bucket FAQ

Why does a dental office need an amalgam bucket?

Amalgam Waste like chairside traps and vacuum particle filters have residual contaminates like mercury that cause issues for local waste water treatment plants or landfills if they are flushed down the drain or placed in the trash. A simple and inexpensive way to properly manage the material is by using Anterior Quest’s branded amalgam waste bucket.

Do all offices need an amalgam bucket?

Currently as of 2018
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Rhode Island
These are existing states with requirements for amalgam separation. They need to follow the Best Management practices (BMP’s) which require offices to dispose of things like chairside traps and vacuum particle filters in an amalgam recycling container.
Along with that there are a bunch of local municipalities who require offices to have amalgam separator laws. Those municipalities have to comply with the BMP’s for amalgam waste as well, which requires them to have an amalgam bucket. Offices should know if they are located in one of these areas. If they do not know simply reaching out to a local wastewater authority or city council should help provide the answer.
On July 14 2020 every office nationwide that falls into the amalgam separator category will have to follow the BMP’s and will be required to have an amalgam bucket.

What types of waste goes into the amalgam bucket?

Amalgam scrap
Chairside Trap filters
Vacuum pump filters
Saliva ejectors
Used amalgam capsules
Extracted teeth with amalgam restorations
Other waste items that are contaminated with amalgam Anterior Quest’s amalgam buckets are also able to handle 1 lb. of elemental mercury. That is the absolute max that can be transported via an amalgam waste bucket. Anything over 1 lb. is held to stricter regulations. Approved items are located on both the box and the top label.

What size amalgam buckets does Anterior Quest offer?

Anterior Quest offers a 1.25, 3.5, and 5 gallon amalgam buckets.

What size amalgam bucket does Anterior Quest recommend?

Two things affect what size bucket is needed by an office. Number of opps, as well as what type of vacuum the office has. Offices with more opps will replace more amalgam fillings, as well as using more chairside traps. If an office has a wet ring vacuum pump with a filter attached that will take up more room inside the bucket as well. Most offices with a dry vac will be able to use 1.25 gallon bucket because it will mostly be amalgam capsules and chairside traps. Larger practices with 8 or more chairs may want to look at going to the 3.5 or 5 gallon bucket. Offices with 4 opps or less and have a wet ring pump can use a 1.25 gallon bucket because the overall quantity of material other than vacuum filters will not be that great. That will allow for 1.25 gallon bucket to last a significant amount of time. Offices with 5 opps or more using a wet ring vacuum may want to look at the larger buckets because the vacuum filter will be changed more frequently and things like amalgam capsules and chairside traps will accumulate more quickly.

How does the office use the amalgam bucket?

Anterior Quest’s amalgam bucket is very simple. It comes in a box that the office must keep, inside the box is the bucket. Inside that bucket is a plastic liner. Once the office has amalgam waste to get rid of they simply unscrew the bucket by pressing on the red locking tab, and turning the bucket counterclockwise. Use the plastic liner like a trash liner to cover the inside of the bucket. The liner will help protect against and spills. Once the material is placed inside the bucket turn the top clockwise until tight. The locking mechanism will keep the top in place. Only after you put the first material inside the bucket do you have to write the date on the top of the bucket. There is a label that has date opened with an area above to write the date. Continue to fill the plastic liner inside the bucket until the bucket is completely full. Once the bucket is deemed full tie the plastic bag shut inside the bucket, close the bucket and seal the top tight. Finally tape the box shut. All of the Do’s and Don’ts are located on the side of the box.

How long can an office keep an amalgam bucket?

Offices can keep the bucket itself on site for as long as they would like. However once amalgam waste is placed inside the bucket they have one year until the bucket needs to be shipped out. Written in the standards for universal waste management part 273.15 (a) states that small quantity handlers of universal waste may accumulate universal waste for no longer than one year. This is why Anterior Quest has the label on top of the bucket. It allows the office to monitor the amount of time the container has been at the office.

Once the bucket is full how do I ship it back for recylcing?

Shipping is very simple as well. Once the bucket is deemed full, the office calls 877-750-4347 or emails A person from the support team will gather some information from the office and pass it along to Anterior Quest to notify them that the office is prepared to ship. The office will then receive an email from Anterior Quest with the pre-paid shipping label attached. The office simply prints the label, tapes it on the box and gives it to their FedEx driver the next time they are in the office. There is no need to schedule an appointment. Located on the back of the box are instructions for how to prepare the box to ship and who to contact.

Does the office receive a certificate of recycling after the bucket is shipped?

Yes, in the email Anterior Quest sends to the office with the label we will ask if the office requires documentation that the amalgam bucket was recycled. If the office does need one we will send them a certificate of recycling once the material is received at the recycling facility. If the office says they do not need documentation, but later does need documentation Anterior Quest can send the certificate at a later date as well. All pertinent information regarding recycling will be held by Anterior Quest and will be provided at any time upon request.

If an office has an existing amalgam bucket that is not an Anterior Quest brand and does not know how to ship it back will Anterior Quest take that as well?

Yes, Anterior Quest can send an office a shipping label for them to place onto a box to send to an appropriate Amalgam recycling facility. The label costs $60. The only thing that is required from the office is that they have the amalgam waste in a sealable container and they place that container into a box that can be tapped shut, with the words “Amalgam for recylcing” either written or labeled on it before shipping.

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