New Guy Looking For Some Help

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by KevinDee, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. KevinDee

    KevinDee Member

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    hey everyone. My name is Kevin and i am currently a photography student in Boston. I took a couple classes in high school where I developed film, but have just recently began actually shooting film. I have a question about disposing of photographic chemicals. From what I have read developer and stop bath can be poured down the drain along with water. What about wetting agent? is that also safe to drain? My main question is about fixer. I've heard about the steel wool in a bucket trick and was wondering how effective that is. I have also heard about these silver recovering units. Can anyone give me a lead on a few of these? recommended consumer level models? One of my teachers mentioned that she had one so I will ask her as well. But the ones that I found online had very little information about them. I was wondering how these units work and how much do they cost. any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Hi Kevin, welcome to APUG.

    I'm assuming you are speaking of the sort of quantities that a small 1 or 2 person darkroom generates.

    Wetting agent is essentially detergent, so as long as you are speaking of working solution, it is fine to discard used wetting agent down the drain.

    As far as silver recovery units are concerned, John Nanian (jnanian) is a long time, respected member of APUG who, among other things, markets a "Silver Magnet" silver recovery device.

    John is great to deal with, and a really creative and generous photographer.

    Here is his thread relating to the Silver Magnet: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum146/68135-silver-magnet-silver-recovery-device.html
     
  3. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Welcome to the community!! Matt, I second what you say re John. I bought from John the Silver Magnet, use it in my darkroom and am thrilled with it.
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG
     
  5. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    I just got a silver magnet from John. Put it into some exhausted fix a couple of days ago, so can't give feedback yet. I'm sure it will be better than the steel wool trick. I tried that last year. I now have a bucket of nasty looking, rusty, sludgy glop. I don't know what to do with it. Any suggestions? Can I put the silver magnet in there?
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi there

    thanks for the shout out !

    hi sly, i don't think you can put the silver magnet in your steel wool, silver sludge ..
    the magnet works with fixer, and what you have in that bucket is part fixer, part iron, and part silver sludge
    so it might foul up the works. if you have a hazardous waste recovery center you might consider disposing of it there
    rather than mess with it anymore. you could always put it somewhere "warm" and evaporate the water from it,
    and dispose of it at your hazmat disposal days that way too ...

    hi kevin
    i am south of boston outside of providence ri. the magnets are 55+ 10$ shipping and very easy to use.
    the main thing is that your fixer has to be used enough to have a high concentration of silver in it, so using fixer
    as a 1 or 2 shot chemical won't cut it. being a student, you probably use sprint chemicals ? i use sprint fixer, it is great !
    just take a leader of your film when your fixer is fresh-mixed see how long it takes your film to go to a clear base. periodically do the same test and when it takes
    twice the original time (for example, starts with 1 min and eventually takes 2 mins ) your fixer has a high enough concentration of fixer to de-silver.
    it takes a little time but eventually you will see the cathode turn darkish, and it is done. ALL the silver isn't out of the fixer though ..
    there are also other sorts of things that take the rest of the silver out if you want to spend a little more money ... and these other things
    will also take the silver out of your wash water ( which contains some of the fixer ) ...

    if you have any other questions feel free to ask, i'm happy to answer whatever questions i can !

    john
     
  7. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Thanks John, I thought evaporation was the way to go. Hopefully it will be concentrated enough by the summer to get the hazwaste folks to take it.

    The magnet seems like a much better idea.
     
  8. KevinDee

    KevinDee Member

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    thanks everyone! John, I sent you an email before I saw your post. All of my developing is actually non school related. The fixer I ordered is Ilford rapid fixer.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi kevin

    i responded to your email. the magnets work with any fix...
    rapid as well as the old-fashioned sodium thiosulfate ...
    i hear great things about ilford rapid fix, but being a ri native
    i have always used sprint, which is made locally :wink:

    have fun!
    john
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    i folw the spirit of my photographymentors:take nothing but light and leave nothing but foot prints,and therefore, all exhausted chemicals (except for stop, hypo c;ear and sistan)are collectedand brought to yhe local waste disposal center. photographers love andprotect nature!!