Sample (and simple) Waste Management Plan for Dentist Office

Note, this is a rough draft of a waste management plan for a fictional dentist office.


This waste management plan describes the nature and amount of waste generated at LIVERMORE DENTAL and provides estimates of future generation rates. Procedures and systems for collection and storage are described. The plan explains the ultimate disposal location for the waste and how patients, employees, and the public are protected from exposure.

Location and Scope of Activities

LIVERMORE DENTAL is located at 123 Main St, Anytown, USA. Patients are received at this location and all patient care takes place on the premises. All waste produced by LIVERMORE is generated at this location. LIVERMORE DENTAL (aka “the practice” and “the business”) is a limited liability company incorporated in the state of State. Owners are Smiley P. Sawbones and Melinda G. Sawbones. The business was founded in 2002 to provide general dentistry services to people in the Anytown area. In recent years the practice has seen approximately 1100 unique patients per year and 2700 office visitors (including patients and others). Many patients come more than once a year.

LIVERMORE is located in City, County, State, and is subject to regulations and laws instituted by the municipal, state, and federal governments. The business discharges sewage to the County Sewage Authority.

Hazardous Materials and Pharmaceuticals

LIVERMORE stores a limited amount of chemicals on site to provide dental services:

Nitrous Oxide = N2O - We have a maximum of two bottles of nitrous oxide on site at any time, each with a maximum charge of 5 lb. This gas is used to sedate patients. It is mixed with air and delivered through a gas mask. Patients exhale the gas into the ambient office air where the concentration is so low that others are not affected.

Nitrous oxide bottles are under pressure and hence pose a decompression risk. However, pressurized container technology is established so risk of an accident is low unless the bottles are mishandled. During operation - when gas is being drawn out - the bottles are secured in a seat. In storage they are attached to the wall with a clamp. Nitrous oxide is not flammable.

Because of its psychoactive properties, nitrous oxide may be a theft risk. LIVERMORE locks the doors and windows when no employees are present.

Lidocaine and Septocaine. These topical analgesics are used to induce numbness and dull patient pain during and after dental procedures.These are not controlled drugs. They are not abused and there are few attempts to steal them. They are not hazardous materials under the RCRA standards for hazardous waste: corrosive, flammable, reactive, or toxic when given at recommended doses.

Systemic analgesics. LIVERMORE maintains ibuprofen, and paracetamol in pill form for patient pain relief. These are over-the-counter medicines.

Fluoride gels and rinses. LIVERMORE keeps flavored toothpaste preparations to apply to patients’ teeth. These preparations contain stannous fluoride as an active ingredient. They are not addictive or psychoactive or hazardous. The risk to people at LIVERMORE is low. Following treatment, patients discharge the fluoride preparations to a sink connected to a drain to the municipal sewage system.

Waste Categories

In routine operations LIVERMORE generates:
Municipal solid waste (office trash)
Bodily fluids - mostly saliva and blood
Mercury waste - old fillings
Pathological waste - pulled teeth, gum tissue

No radioactive waste, RCRA hazardous waste (other than mercury waste from old fillings), or animal wastes are produced.

Historical generation rates:
Municipal solid waste - 3500 lb/yr
Bodily fluids - 200 lb/yr (estimate)
Mercury waste - 12 lb/yr
Pathological waste - 60 lb/yr (estimate)

Legacy waste

We keep no waste on site that is more than 2 months old.

Emergency equipment

We have a fire extinguisher in the office and a chemical spill kit for cleanup of materials. We believe this is adequate.

Emergency procedures

We are a very small business that rarely has more than 12 people in our offices, and we do not deal with large quantities of hazardous materials so there is no special emergency plan for evacuation.


Municipal solid waste and mercury waste are temporarily stored on site before removal for disposal. The mercury waste is kept in a special amalgamator container until our waste disposal service picks it up.