It’s time for infectious waste producers to file their annual report(s)

MERI’s online customer portal helps you to easily retrieve info needed for your 2014 WI DNR Infectious waste annual report – due by 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 22, 2106.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 2014 Infectious Waste Annual Reporting is now OPEN!

This is the first time the DNR is requiring infectious waste generators to submit their reports online.  This process must be started – and, if possible, all information inputted – by January 22, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.

By now, you should have received an email from the DNR notifying you of instructions to ensure everything gets filed correctly and on time.  If not, Please email DNRMedicalWaste@wisconsin.gov. Also, follow this link to inform the DNR if your facility has a new contact person or to make changes to the existing contact.

Who Needs to File Infectious Waste Report

If your business or institution generates infectious waste, you may need to file one or two different reports to the DNR: A Medical Waste Reduction Plan and/or an Infectious Waste Annual Report. Whether you need to file one or both reports depends on the type/amount of waste you produce and your disposal techniques.

In our earlier post we outlined how you can determine whether you are exempt or need to file. We also included some tips to walk you through when creating a waste reduction annual plan and an infectious waste annual report.

Easy Way for MERI Customers to Get Needed Info

MERI’s online customer portal makes it easy to retrieve the waste information you need to file your reports quickly. This software allows you to:

* Retrieve manifests that include cradle-to-grave documentation of infectious waste.

* Receive a report detailing the total weight of treated waste over a specific date range.

* Update your contact information.

We’ve already sent every MERI customer a link to the portal along with the required password. If you’re having trouble accessing the portal, please contact us by phone or email and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Still Have Questions About Your Infectious Waste Report?

If you have any questions about filing your reports in general, please contact the Wisconsin’s DNR website, which provides a full list of requirements and exemptions for filing both reports.

Learn how to easily track, properly handle, and affordably dispose your biohazard or infectious waste.

Download Your
Infectious Waste Compliance Guide

Mercury Reduction in Waterstream

Environmentally-Friendly Madison, WI Dentists Keep Amalgam — and Mercury — from Going Down the Drain

Throughout the country, it’s been estimated that dentists handle about one to two pounds of amalgam each year, mainly in the form of old silver-colored fillings removed from teeth. In Wisconsin, amalgam waste cannot be flushed down the drain due to regulations from local municipal wastewater authorities.  How do you dispose of amalgam compliantly yet cost-effectively? 

Before we get into inexpensive ways to properly dispose amalgam, here is a recap of why it can’t go down the drain.

What’s Wrong With Amalgam? 

The problem with amalgam is that it is about 50 percent mercury by weight. Even those with limited chemistry knowledge generally know one thing about mercury: It’s bad for the environment.

Once mercury enters the water stream, microorganisms convert it into methyl mercury – a highly toxic compound that then accumulates in fish, shellfish and any animals that eat them. This exposure rises straight to the top of the food chain, leading to methyl mercury exposure in humans.

EPA studies showed that, unless there was a large industrial source in a community, dental offices using silver amalgam were the single largest source of mercury discharged to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW), accounting for nearly half of the mercury it received.

Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) in Wisconsin was one of the first municipal wastewater authorities in the state to regulate dental amalgam. By working with the local dental community, MMSD was able to significantly reduce mercury in its discharge. The dotted line represents the deadline for dental clinics in MMSD’s service area to install amalgam separators to capture amalgam from dental wastewater, preventing it from entering the sewer.However, changes like at MMSD can only be effective if dentists everywhere understand the importance of being good environmental stewards. 

It will likely not be as much of a problem in the future as dentists are switching from using amalgam fillings to safer alternatives, such as resin composites. But, since so many existing fillings may contain mercury, it could take a generation for amalgam fillings to fully disappear as a mercury source at dental clinics. 

Even if your local municipality does not currently have amalgam regulations, it’s possible that the Environmental Protection Agency will mandate all dentists to have special mercury collection devices in the next few years.

Disposing Your Amalgam Compliantly and Inexpensively

Many environmentally friendly dentists now have a chair-side vacuum line that collects large chunks of the alloy drilled out of teeth. The installation of filters or gravity separators remove 95% or more of the remaining amalgam in the sludge of water, saliva and other fluids suctioned out of a mouth.  This material is collected in a special trap or canister.

At MERI, we pick up amalgam from chair-side traps and mercury capsules, at the same time we pick up other hazardous waste from dental offices. Besides amalgam, MERI also collects hazardous materials like lead aprons, fixer, developer and pharmaceuticals such as Lidocaine.

Because MERI picks up hazardous materials at the time we are picking up sharps and other biohazard materials, there is no additional stop fee. 

Just give us a call ahead of time to make sure that the proper hazardous paperwork is prepared ahead of time before arriving to collect your amalgam or other hazardous materials.

If you’ve yet to find a compliant, inexpensive way to dispose of amalgam, give us a call!

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