Ok, first let me say that household hazardous waste is exempt from EPA rules. The thinking behind this is that it would be generated in such small quantities as to be almost if not totally negligible. So although LFguy is correct in his assesment the quantity of silver found in your fixer after dilution would not cause any problem. Unless you have a home business where you are continually processing you have nothing to worry about. The only thing which could be of concern is if you have copper piping, if you do, then flushing with some water after you dump the chemicals would be good.
I lived for 7 years in an isolated farmhouse where we had a septic tank and all my black and white chemicals were just poured away into the system without any problems or affect on the efficency of the tank. I was carrying out workshops and doing a lot of personal printing so I did have to dispose of a little more than I think you are dealing with.
I would be hesitant to speak to the authorities about these matters for in my experience in the UK it tends to encourage a rather hysterical over reaction; for example the authorities in one area that I used to live in told me that I would be required to entomb any waste chemistry in one cubic yard of concrete and have it transported to the nearest waste disposal site.
I concur with Les on not telling the authorities lest you be overwhelmed with regulations. I am about to build a new darkroom in another building and my lawyer and darkroom mate has said we should not say anythng about this building a darkroom. Just turn on the utilities and we will sort it out later. May not be the best way but he seems to think there is no reason to poke a stick at the bear.
I highly dilute any chemical I pour out. I also only pour them out when they're old, so it's not too bad, plus, I think little Timmy next door likes his new 3rd eye http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/wink.gif
From a quote I've heard quite often: "The solution to pollution is dilution"!
Combining used chemicals to neutralize them is the first step in disposal. Then dump the mixture down the drain along with plenty of running water and let the water run for a minute or so. Also, I notice a deposit on my developer trays and in my film-developing tanks and even in my steel sink that I assume is silver; so maybe not all the unused silver ends up down the drain.
I called the City where I live. They said that unless I was doing commercial volumes then they had no problem with the fix going down the drain.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (LFGuy @ Jan 10 2003, 06:22 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
As far as I remember (someone correct me if I'm wrong) fixer can contain anywhere from 2000 to 5000 mg/L of silver compounds (silver thiosulfate complexes, Ag(S2O3)2 3-) when exhausted, it all really depends on what and how much you're fixing, whether you're repleneshing it, etc.
I've been wondering aout the amount of silver/ silver compounds drawn into the fixer by the development process. It seems to me that 5000mg - 5 grams - per liter is an awfully large amount.
A new American nickel ($.05) weighs close to 5 grams - that seems to be a LOT of silver.
Anyone have any idea of the average amount of silver removed from a single roll of film or sheet of paper in the process?
I remember a post - somewhere - from a photographer running a recovery system in a fairly active home darkroom for a number of years. He concluded that the few grams recovered was simply not worth the effort.
i was wondering if anyone here has gotten a silver recovery device from itronics?
if so, how much was it? or do they "lend/ lease" the units out?
they didn't have the recovery units the last time i spoke with them, and the cost of sending the solutions to them was too expensive.
if you haven't heard of them: http://www.itronics.com/
they take spent photochemicals and turn it into fertilizer.