Can I just throw my chemicals down the sink?
Or maybe I should put it this way: Whould your exotic fish colection be happy swimmers if you throw some fixer in their pond?
I am just asking this since I have been throwing quite a few litres of developer down the sink already, and in case it's really shit for the environments I should not be doing this 'to our mother', the chemical deposit would be a nice alternative.
And how is this for fixers and wetting agents?
when I worked in the photo shop, we dumped the developer, but reclaimed the silver in the fixer to make it more inert, fixer is the big one that can be detrimental to the enviorment.
I would love an answer to this too!
I tend to dump exhausted developer and stop bath (sometimes with a box of baking soda), but once a year my town has a 'toxic waste day' where I take fix and selenium toner. Wish they would do it twice a year!
What do other APUGger's do?
I had the same experience when I worked in a darkroom. Reclaim the silver, dump the developer. I accidentally dumped some fix before it went through the reclaimer and had an EPA guy in my bosses office the next day giving me a lecture.
My question is: What do we do with the fixer when there are no places that dispose of chemicals anywhere near me?
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
Put your fixer in 5 gallon cans, put steel wool in the can and shake every day or so.
Most of the silver will be attached to the steel wool and you can dump the thiosulfates more safely.
Selenium toner, when it is spent, put a couple of "very dark" prints into it, repeat, then you cn use it in your flower garden as fertilizaer. Flowers love selenium.
Originally Posted by mark
Mama took my APX away.....
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I live in a rural area and all my darkroom waste goes into the sump which in turn is pumped into the ditch in front of my house. I have been in this location 8 years and can see absolutly no ill effects - the grass by the discharge looks just as healthy as anywhere else.
Oh, did I mention the three-headed frogs?
It's weird - in parts of Europe, darkroom chemicals are treated with utmost paranoia by municipalities. In Sweden, for instance, I believe it's illegal to flush any photochemicals, and that includes stop bath, down the drain. In NYC, on the other hand, the city provides no guidance that I could find to the home darkroom user (but they might regulate photofininshers).
Quentin, sorry, but you're making it very hard for yourself, more than is needed. You live in Holland and you know just as well as I do that when in doubt about a chemical substance there are certain governmental phonenumbers you can call and where you can find out exactly what goes down the drain and what not.
Originally Posted by Quinten
I sure hope this helps, coz' developer sure ain't helping no fish!
If you are just using a homearkroom I doubt that you are creating anything approaching a substantial load on the sewer system. There are two basic concerns: The toxicity of the chemical and the volume. Thankfully the very great majority of B&W and color chemical are not going to be used in large enough volumes to cause problems. Neutralizing them to a medium PH is a worthwhile idea. It is also good to reduce metals such as chrome, Silver and selenium so that they are not concentrated.
One of the best low tech method of eliminating silver from fixer is to use sheets of aluminum foil in a pail that the used fixer is put into. The silver will adhere to the foil. If you are not concerned about using a hardening fixer..for film for example or washing procedures that work well with a hardening agent..then if you test your fixer afteer this treatment you may find that it is still useful to you. Each time this cycle is repeated the hardening effects of aluminum will be intensified. Obviously, I am reffering to a strained solution that has the siver and crap filtered out.
In the Netherlands the local municipalities (Amsterdam also) have an excelent system for retrieving chemical waist - including photochemicals. It's free for private persons. In Amersfoort, where i live, they even profide free jerrycans to return the stuff.
I collect developer, fixer and all the toners. The stop and the photoflo go down the drain. Especially the fixer and some of the toners (selenium!) are not very healthy for your fish - unless you like them swimming belly up!