Realities of the New Amalgam Separator Regulations



To satisfy the amalgam separator installation reporting requirement, dental offices located within the five boroughs of New York City must submit the following form:

In item # B, Name of applicable sewage treatment works/sewer authority,
you should write, " New York City Department of Environmental Protection".


The forms should be faxed or mailed to:


New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Attn: Pollution Prevention Section
Bureau of Wastewater Treatment
96-05 Horace Harding Expressway, 1st Floor
Corona, NY 11368-5107
FAX: 718-595-4771


Please visit the following links from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website for comprehensive information regarding the amalgam separator regulations:


Effective May 12, 2006, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regulations went into effect mandating the installation of amalgam separators in most New York State dental offices. If your office applies, alters, maintains, removes or disposes of dental amalgam waste you will be required to install separators by May 2008. Offices built after May 12, 2006 will be required to install separator equipment at the outset. Orthodontists, periodontists, prosthodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are exempt from installing the separator equipment but regardless of specialty, ALL dentists must still recycle mercury and mercury amalgam waste generated in their practice.

Amalgam waste separators will assure that the maximum amount of amalgam waste is removed from drainage for recycling more efficiently than filters and traps used in chair-side dental units and vacuum lines. New York State regulation guidelines call for a 99% separator efficiency level and dentists are urged to carefully examine the options available to them before purchasing separators for their office. There are many factors to consider such as plumbing configuration in your office and space availability for installation. New York City regulations must also be considered. Although New York state regulations are already in effect regarding separator installation, the New York City has not yet offered it own separator regulatory criteria, which may further affect your purchasing decision. With that in mind, it may be prudent to delay your purchase for the time being while exploring ALL your options. Remember, you do have until May, 2008. Second District will continue to update you with local guidelines as they become available.

Costs for separator units and installation will vary depending on individual circumstances but according to DEC estimates dentists can likely anticipate costs of $1,200-$1,300 for the first year followed by subsequent costs for recycling and filter replacement.

For more information on the types and installation of amalgam separators please visit these links:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website:

Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA)
Purchasing, Installing and Operating Dental Amalgam Separators: Practical Issues (August 2003)