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  1. #41
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Offensive political rhetoric reported.

    Now, I want to know more about recovering/handling/disposing precipitated silver.

    I used to dispose of my chems through the tech department of the school I worked at, and have since been taking it in jugs to the local waste management, but as someone stated earlier, some "recycling centers" don't seem to be very well prepared to deal with used photochemicals.

    If I have removed the silver from the fixer, is it still an environmental hazard?

    Respectfully,
    Tom
    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. #42
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    If the silver is removed, I don't believe it to be particularly dangerous. Main thing is that it's usually quite acidic. It's used as a chelating agent in pools, for example, and even given to humans to reduce heavy-metal poisoning. So it's not hugely toxic but as always, the dose/concentration matters.

    I believe photo labs are permitted to release silver-free thiosulfate; at least Kodak's tech docs certainly give that impression by talking about permissible silver levels (a few ppm) in waste discharge streams resulting from a fixer replenishment & silver-reclamation cycles.

  3. #43
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. I appreciate the information.

    Tom
    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


  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    If the silver is removed, I don't believe it to be particularly dangerous. Main thing is that it's usually quite acidic. It's used as a chelating agent in pools, for example, and even given to humans to reduce heavy-metal poisoning. So it's not hugely toxic but as always, the dose/concentration matters.

    I believe photo labs are permitted to release silver-free thiosulfate; at least Kodak's tech docs certainly give that impression by talking about permissible silver levels (a few ppm) in waste discharge streams resulting from a fixer replenishment & silver-reclamation cycles.
    hi polyglot

    you're right on ... 20lb buckets of sodium thiosulfate used to be sold in swimming pool and spa shops ...
    it is / was used to reduce as a "shock" against the chlorine. a lot of people used to
    get a bucket to last a lifetime for fixer ... but not many people sell it anymore ( maybe something better is available ? )
    ...i have found 1 place in my area, but i would have to get 50lbs of it ( still for 20$ its not bad ) but i don't think my lifetime
    will last that long .... ammonium thiosulfate ... from what i remember is sold as fertilizer ...

    i wonder if someone had a huge gathering and everyone is clad in silver jewelry + armor if the pool-owners are permitted to just drain their pool
    or if enough silver has been dissolved by the thiosulfate in the pool water that they have to have all the pool contents hauled away as toxic waste ?

    considering it costs about 100$ for a waste hauler to remove 15 gallons of spent fixer ... it must cost a small fortune to haul away a swimming pool.
    im empty, good luck

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toffle View Post
    Offensive political rhetoric reported.

    Now, I want to know more about recovering/handling/disposing precipitated silver.

    I used to dispose of my chems through the tech department of the school I worked at, and have since been taking it in jugs to the local waste management, but as someone stated earlier, some "recycling centers" don't seem to be very well prepared to deal with used photochemicals.

    If I have removed the silver from the fixer, is it still an environmental hazard?

    Respectfully,
    Tom
    The most popular methods of recovering silver are reduction with iron, usually steel wool, and precipitation with sulfide. There are several kits available for silver recovery, and they are the most convenient way of handling the problem. Silver recovery is usually done for economic, rather than environmental, reasons. As noted above, it's not so much the environmental impact of small amounts of spent fixer as what the local regulations say. They may or may not allow fixer without silver.

  6. #46
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    I use the Silver Magnet. It works by electrolysis. Basically electroplates the silver out onto an electrode.

    It's a small unit, about the size of a pencil box with a couple of electrodes inside and a wire coming out. Connect the wires to the low voltage, DC "wall wart" transformer and plug it in to the wall outlet. Drop the box into a container of silver-saturated fixer and wait for a few days. When you've got as much silver out as you can, unplug it, rinse in clear water, let it dry and put it away until later use. After several uses, it will be full of silver. When that happens, send it in to get refined/recycled. You get money back.

    I store my spent fixer in a 5 gal. bucket. When it gets about half full, I use the Silver Magnet. Each time, I get about an ounce of silver, more or less. I've used it three times and it's not even 10% full, yet. By the time it gets full, there will be a LOT of silver in there. Easily several hundred dollars worth.

    It costs about $40 to $50. By the time it gets full, I will have paid for the thing many times over.

    I would say that I recover my silver for economic AND environmental reasons. Maybe the money comes first but I do care about getting the silver out before I dispose of the fixer. Getting money for it just makes it feel even more worthwhile.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  7. #47
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    Used Sodium Thiosulfate disposal

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    I use the Silver Magnet. It works by electrolysis. Basically electroplates the silver out onto an electrode.

    It's a small unit, about the size of a pencil box with a couple of electrodes inside and a wire coming out. Connect the wires to the low voltage, DC "wall wart" transformer and plug it in to the wall outlet. Drop the box into a container of silver-saturated fixer and wait for a few days. When you've got as much silver out as you can, unplug it, rinse in clear water, let it dry and put it away until later use. After several uses, it will be full of silver. When that happens, send it in to get refined/recycled. You get money back.

    I store my spent fixer in a 5 gal. bucket. When it gets about half full, I use the Silver Magnet. Each time, I get about an ounce of silver, more or less. I've used it three times and it's not even 10% full, yet. By the time it gets full, there will be a LOT of silver in there. Easily several hundred dollars worth.

    It costs about $40 to $50. By the time it gets full, I will have paid for the thing many times over.

    I would say that I recover my silver for economic AND environmental reasons. Maybe the money comes first but I do care about getting the silver out before I dispose of the fixer. Getting money for it just makes it feel even more worthwhile.
    So it's reusable?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  8. #48
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    So it's reusable?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    You install a new anode when you send the old, silver plated one in to the silver refiners.

    For more info, ask John Nanian (jnanian here on APUG). He sells them through APUG.

    Here is his main thread on the subject: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum146/...ry-device.html
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #49
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    It's a clear plastic box about 6 in. long, 3 in. wide and about an inch deep.

    I've used it a few times and it builds up a couple of millimeters of silver inside each time. Eventually, the silver will build up so much that the electrodes will short out but, at the rate I use fixer, that will be quite a while.

    When it is full, the box will have to be cut open. It's a two-piece construction with holes in the top and sides for the liquid to circulate through. It is heat welded together. In order for somebody to get that ingot of silver out, they'll have to split the plastic open, essentially destroying it but figure that you paid $50 for it and you'll probably get several hundred dollars for the silver. A worthwhile sacrifice. You'll still have the transformer so you only need to buy a new collector box.

    I'm not going to get rich off this but I'll be able to buy a couple cases of beer and still have plenty left over to buy more film with.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  10. #50
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Used Sodium Thiosulfate disposal

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    It's a clear plastic box about 6 in. long, 3 in. wide and about an inch deep.

    I've used it a few times and it builds up a couple of millimeters of silver inside each time. Eventually, the silver will build up so much that the electrodes will short out but, at the rate I use fixer, that will be quite a while.

    When it is full, the box will have to be cut open. It's a two-piece construction with holes in the top and sides for the liquid to circulate through. It is heat welded together. In order for somebody to get that ingot of silver out, they'll have to split the plastic open, essentially destroying it but figure that you paid $50 for it and you'll probably get several hundred dollars for the silver. A worthwhile sacrifice. You'll still have the transformer so you only need to buy a new collector box.

    I'm not going to get rich off this but I'll be able to buy a couple cases of beer and still have plenty left over to buy more film with.
    I didn't realize it was that much money... Could the collector be used in alcohol bottles that have silver and gold in it like goldschlager?


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

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