Dental Office Amalgam Recovery Program

Keeping mercury out of wastewater

The goal of the Amalgam Recovery Program of Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) is to minimize the release of amalgam and mercury — a potent neurotoxin — into the environment. We carry out the program with the help of the Minnesota Dental Association and dental offices across the seven-county metro area.

General practice dental offices and endodontic offices 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.

We have updated our program to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) dental effluent rule, published in June 2017.

How your office must comply with the program

  1. If your general dental practice or endodontic office has not previously registered with MCES, submit a Dental Office Survey (PDF).
  2. Install and properly operate an MPCA-approved amalgam separator.
  3. Put in place and follow best management practices (PDF) for operating and maintaining your separator. 
  4. Enroll in the MCES Industrial Online Reporting System.
  5. Submit statements annually via the online reporting system. Video: How to complete and submit an annual statement online.
  6. Maintain a log of weekly amalgam separator inspection and maintenance activities. Download log (PDF).
  7. Keep records of annual statements and logs for three years.

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

More resources

Contact us

MCES Industrial Waste & Pollution Prevention Office: iwpp@metc.state.mn.us or 651-602-4703. IWPP office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For MCES registered dental offices to receive important notifications regarding the Amalgam Recovery Program, you must add the following emails to your address book: METC@public.govdelivery.com and MCESIndustrialOnlineReporting@metc.state.mn.us.

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 offices and the Minnesota Dental Association since 1998 to quantify and minimize the discharge of amalgam and mercury.