Dental wastes are regulated under medical waste control regulations in most countries. Even though the quantity of hazardous wastes in dental solid wastes is a small proportion, there is still cross infection risk and potential danger for environment associated with mismanaged wastes. For this reason, knowledge of waste composition and development of proper management alternatives are necessary. In this study, the composition of solid wastes coming from eight clinics of the dental school of a University hospital in Turkey is examined. Although the waste has some variations between the two samplings, the general picture is such that the major components remain pretty much the same (in terms of%) for a fixed clinic. The composition of waste changes from one clinic to the other as expected. However, one can deduce from the data obtained that at about 35%, rubber gloves constitute close to the half of the total solid waste in almost all the clinics. Other major component is paper forming approximately 30% of the solid waste. In general, total waste coming from the clinics is related with the number of procedures conducted on patients at the clinics. Only a small fraction of the waste is hazardous indicating that at Hacettepe University School of Dentistry, hazardous waste collection rules are obeyed in most of the times. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.