Dental Clinics

Amalgam Recovery Program

By keeping mercury out of wastewater, dental clinics assist Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) to minimize the release of amalgam and mercury — a potent neurotoxin — into the environment. We partner with the Minnesota Dental Association and dental clinics across the seven-county metro area to carry out the Amalgam Recovery Program.

General practice dental clinics and endodontic clinics that place or remove amalgam and are located in the MCES service area (PDF) must install and properly operate an amalgam separator and comply with our Amalgam Recovery Program.

Our Amalgam Recovery Program complies with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) dental effluent rule, published June 2017.

How your dental clinic must comply with the program and requirements in your permit

  1. Install and properly operate an MPCA-approved amalgam separator.
  2. Put in place and follow best management practices (PDF) for operating and maintaining your separator. 
  3. Enroll in the MCES Industrial Online Reporting System (IORS).
  4. Submit statements annually via the online reporting system. Video: How to complete and submit an annual statement online.
  5. Maintain a log of weekly amalgam separator inspection and maintenance activities. Download log (PDF).
  6. Keep records of annual statements and logs for three years.
  7. Allow MCES staff on the premises to verify an approved amalgam separator is in place and observe its operations.

By complying with the program, your clinic avoids the need for a standard wastewater permit, paying permit fees, and sampling and analyzing your wastewater.

More resources

Contact us

Amalgam Separator Program information: Naum Jacob Bukingolts at, 651-602-4714

Online Reporting questions and support: or 651-602-4789

MCES Industrial Waste & Pollution Prevention general information: or 651-602-4703.

For MCES registered dental clinics to receive important notifications regarding the Amalgam Recovery Program, you must add the following emails to your address book: and

Protecting public health and the environment

MCES operates the wastewater conveyance and treatment system serving more than 2.8 million people in the Twin Cities metro area. We regulate discharges into the system to ensure compliance with local and federal regulations. We have partnered with dental clinics and the Minnesota Dental Association since 1998 to quantify and minimize the discharge of amalgam and mercury.