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Title: Dental laboratory waste management in respect of reusing and recycling in KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Ngombane, Yonela 
Issue Date: 2018
This qualitative study explored the management of waste in commercial and training dental laboratories in order to determine the practices and attitudes of dental technology practitioners and academics towards reusing and recycling dental laboratory waste products, and alert them to the benefits of waste management on the environment.
The research objectives were to establish and report on the extent of waste management that entails waste reduction through reusing and recycling, to uncover alternative uses for dental laboratory waste and the possible economic benefits thereof and to influence dental technology industry on environmental sustainability.

The research project was conducted in the interpretive paradigm. In the course of this study dental laboratory owners, dental technicians/technologists and academics from the dental technology programme at a training institution were interviewed. Waste handling in dental laboratories was observed in order to gain greater insight as to current practices in laboratories. Thematic content analysis was employed to analyse the qualitative data. This study found that waste management was poorly understood and practiced amongst the dental laboratory owners, dental technicians/technologists and academics. The study adopted a waste management hierarchy conceptual framework which was influenced by the Waste Act (Act No. 59 of 2008).

The negative attitudes towards responsible waste management practices and the poor understanding of waste management by dental laboratory owners, dental technicians/technologists were found to be as a result of the poor understanding of the possible impact that waste from dental laboratories can impose on the environment. The perceived lack of participation in constructive waste management legislation by the South African Dental Technicians Council was also seen to be a contributing factor to the negative attitudes towards responsible waste management practices within the industry. This finding reinforced the finding that the dental industry has no knowledge, understanding and desire to understand waste management and, more importantly, to understand that one does not practice things solely for legislative reasons but that there are economic as well as environmental reasons to practice constructive waste management. On the other hand, this study found that the industry was not averse to

engaging in environmental friendly practices provided there is financial gain. This was established after the benefits of waste management practices were explained to the industry.
Submitted in full compliance with the requirements of the Degree of Master of Technology: Dental Technology, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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