Amalgam Recovery In Action At The Royal Dental Hospital Of Melbourne

Originally known as the Melbourne Dental Hospital, The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne has been operating since 1890, providing a variety of dental services to the public, including many decades of dental restorations using mercury-containing amalgam.

Ecocycle discussed managing the dental amalgam waste from the Royal Melbourne Dental Hospital with Facilities Manager Paul Horsington.  After a thorough system assessment, a proposal to handle the amalgam wastes was developed, approved and subsequently implemented.

Waste waters from contact and non-contact amalgam restoratory work and teaching are consolidated in an 800-litre self-cleaning balancing tank.  This tank feeds a bank of twelve ECOAS04 separators which remove amalgam and are tested and approved to ISO11143 requirements (see photo).

In addition to this, the sterilisation area also had several ECOAS04 sink separators installed to capture the amalgam discharged from instrument cleaning.  One challenge was to improve the degree of comfort in these work areas by installing sink inserts to reduce the depth of the sinks.  This enables the staff easier access to the sinks and sink contents for cleaning of the instruments.  Ecocycle designed, fabricated and installed these inserts in addition to the 800 litre balancing tank, drip trays, water measuring device and separators.  The ECOAS04 separators capture over 99.5% of dental amalgam ultimately preventing the amalgam ending up in landfill/biosolids from the sewered waste water.

The system has been successfully operating since December 2011.  Over the first 18 months of operation, approximately 28 kg of dental amalgam was captured and recycled.  Like most surgeries fitted with ECOAS04 separators, this system is serviced regularly by Ecocycle under an ongoing arrangement.

Ecocycle also recycles the Hospital’s coarse amalgam (from chairside traps), used amalgam capsules, lead tabs (foils), x-ray film, photographic fixer and developer.

Need Help Recycling In Your Business?

We offer dental amalgam recycling solutions for single clinics as well as larger dental hospitals. We can also develop collection and recycling programs for managing lighting, batteries and e-waste in your business.

Call Ecocycle on 1300 32 62 92, or fill out the form and one of our recycling specialists will be happy to design a recycling program specifically for you.


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