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  1. #21
    Toffle's Avatar
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    I've got a bucket with an inch or two of black sludge from spent fixer. How much more will I need to buy the new Alfa Romeo 4C that's coming out this year?
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  2. #22
    NedL's Avatar
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    Yes, looking at the price of silver nitrate, it's a shame to throw any away! Now if it was gold or platinum, it might be worth going to more extremes!

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    i'm always amazed that people condone dumping stuff down the drain ...
    it reminds me of someone who suggested it was just fine to dump cyanide down the drain
    because there aren't many people doing it, or the guy down the road who was dumping fluorescent green
    machine shop solvent down the storm drain .... because he paid taxes and could do whatever he wanted ...
    First to the OP's original question: Fixer, even acidic rapid fixer, has a high enough pH so that it is OK to mix ammonium and sodium residues. Some SO2 may be evolved, but not a significant amount.

    Now to the quote. Limited amounts of most water soluble things, including cyanide, can be disposed down the drain. Disposal of machine shop solvents, most petrochemical derivatives, and many other organic things is a definite no-no. Petrochemicals and a lot of other things are not water soluble and actually interfere with waste processing. As has been noted above, do not put chemicals down a storm drain. They will re-enter the environment quickly and in an uncontrolled manner that could cause local harm.

    While small quantities of photographic chemicals can be disposed of down the drain safely, industrial amounts are another matter. The waste treatment people worry about two thing here. One is toxic contamination. This is usually not a problem, since the sewage environment and the treatment usually takes care of it. But large quantities may cause special problems, particularly if the come in a short period of time. The other problem is maintaining the sewage treatment system. Sewage treatment is a fermentation process, and anything that would kill the bacteria used in the treatment is obviously detrimental. There are some other concerns, but these are the biggest ones. Most sewage treatment authorities have a schedule of what can be disposed of without concern, and the limits for uncontrolled discharge of things like chromium, thiosulfate, cyanide, silver ion, hydroquinone, and the like. For greater quantities, up to a limit, you usually need a permit, need to keep records, and need to adhere to a strict schedule. A few things, like petrochemicals, are usually forbidden. But there are only a few. The rules vary a lot depending on the size and location of the waste disposal facility. Your local sewage treatment agency can give you details.

    Thiosulfate is a pretty innocuous chemical, as are the other chemicals in spent fixer. Any government that strictly forbids small quantities of them in sewage is just plain stupid and is no doubt reacting to political pressure or panic.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nworth View Post
    First to the OP's original question: Fixer, even acidic rapid fixer, has a high enough pH so that it is OK to mix ammonium and sodium residues. Some SO2 may be evolved, but not a significant amount.
    ...
    I appreciate this. Thank you.

  5. #25
    AgX
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    The European Waste Code distinguishes between:

    Developers (waterbased)
    Offset plate developers (waterbased)
    Developers (solvent based)
    Fixer
    Bleach and BLIX

    This may help as a general guide for sorting waste.

  6. #26
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    In California the many regulatory agencies all get their panties in a royal half-hitch at the thought of anything they consider runoff. At the risk of getting political, the powers that be have been talking of regulating rainwater! I guess they are living in another world, I don't know how I am supposed to contain the water coming off the roof of my little house when it rains.

    m
    Michael Cienfuegos


    If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them.

  7. #27
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    The problem is not so much the thiosulfate but the silver. It's a biocide and will have a negative effect on the bacterial populations in your sewage processing plant, reducing its capacity to ferment and make safe the raw sewage. The magnitude of the effect depends on how big the plant is - a gallon of fixer might be nothing or it might significantly damage the plant. If you have a septic tank, a gallon of used fixer will be a serious problem for you.

    I know someone who was discharging fixer onto the ground outside his lab (in the country, no sewage connection). There's a row of pine trees running past the lab and due to silver releases in just 5 years, the trees within 20m of the lab are all about half as high as the others - it's a really noticeable dip in the treeline.

    The best thing is to take it to your local lab who will recover the silver and thank you for it. It's not that hard - just carry it in the next time you buy supplies or whatever. For example, I buy spring water (for making up developer) in 10L bag-in-box containers. Once empty, they store old fixer. Every year or so, I take a couple cubes (5 gallons) in and have them reclaimed.

    Whingeing about environmental regulations because you resent or don't understand them is the height of self-defeating libertarian stupidity. Go live in China for a while if you think you don't care about pollution; they're a fantastic demonstration of the tragedy of the commons.
    Last edited by polyglot; 04-10-2013 at 08:56 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhcfires View Post
    In California the many regulatory agencies all get their panties in a royal half-hitch ... [snip]
    Half-hitch, not a clove hitch? Sorry, couldn't help myself. Been working on learning knots with my son, who is a Boy Scout.
    ME Super

    Shoot more film.
    There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.

  9. #29
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noacronym View Post
    You're in Australia--the politics may be different. I have my own acreage out in the country, and I would NEVER do something so stupid as what you've described. So, in essence, we're in agreement. You have to remember in America, the party that claims to be anti-pollution is a militant party of whackjobs and lunatics, aggressors and activists pushing every other fringe kook idea as a package deal. Give them an inch and they will take a mile. They will not hear of singling out a possibly good idea of theirs. If you do, they'll shove the whole party line down your throat.. and tax your money away leaving you defenseless to avoid them.
    Why do simple questions need to become political?

    Jim
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  10. #30
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing that. There is a place on this forum for this kind of discussion.

    k?
    thx
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


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