Proper Disposal of Lidocaine Capsules – Dentistry Regulations

Lidocaine Capsules, used in dentistry, are small cylindrical glass tubes containing anesthetics which are screwed onto dental syringes, and are commonly aspirated while the practitioner injects the patient.

These capsules can be put in regulated containers ( BIO BOXES ) and no special CONTAINERS are required. We know that a large publicly traded waste company is trying to tell customers they need to use a special “BLACK BOX” for this type of waste. This is simply not true if the capsules are incinerated. This is frankly another scam by the big waste companies trying to gain more money from customers.

This large waste company wants to confuse customers by saying “we ship this on another truck”. In fact they are not sending all regulated waste to an incinerator. They are using a hydroclave for some waste and the incinerator for other wastes. In the end, they are costing you unnecessary money!​
We incinerate all of our waste and this waste is turned into electricity not going into a landfill. Therefore no special boxes or state or federal requirements are required. All customers can continue to use best practices and no new requirements are required.

OSHA’s Guide to Proper Disposal of Lidocaine Capsules:

  • Carpules that have been completely emptied and are unbroken: When carpules are completely empty, they are considered regular trash and can be placed in the regular trash container.
  • Empty, broken carpules: While not classified as medical waste unless contaminated with blood, they should be handled and discarded with care due to the risk of injury posed to janitorial staff. Broken carpules, or any broken glass, should be either discarded into the sharps container, or contained to eliminate the sharp edges and then thrown in the regular trash. For the latter, options include discarding in a plastic container for the broken glass or wrapping the glass in duct tape.
  • Carpules that contain pharmaceutical, with or without blood: When there is residual pharmaceutical liquid left in the carpule, the carpule is considered pharmaceutical waste (a category of medical waste). Place the carpule in a pharmaceutical waste container labeled “Pharmaceutical waste – incineration only” and contact a registered medical waste hauler for pick-up.
  • Carpules that contain visible blood, without pharmaceutical: These carpules are considered regulated medical waste and should be placed in the sharps container for pick-up by a registered medical waste hauler or sent in via an approved mail-back service.


When you need professional disposal of lidocaine capsules or have questions about medical waste practices, call 866-331-7731 or click here for free quote! Let us handle your disposal services affordably, conveniently, and responsibly. 

Maine Medical Waste Disposal
Toll Free: 866-331-7731
Maine Local: 207-839-9111


View OSHA’s complete Guide to Proper Disposal of Lidocaine Capsules.

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