DEC Department of Environmental Conservation! Another one of the Empire State roving taxation machines!
I am not interested in silver recovery but what is the best way to get rid of fixer from home developing. What is the easiest acceptable way of doing this?
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
My understanding is that the steel wool must be free of any oil for this to work well.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
check with your local water/sewer department to see how to get rid of it.
Originally Posted by didden
without getting the silver out, bringing it to home-chemical waste disposal centers run by your local area ..
is probably the easiest way ...
you could also invest about 50$ (USD) and get a silver magnet.
it is painless, will plate out the silver from your spent fixer overnight.
it will last for years .... and when you cash in the silver you will make back
your initial investment easily ... ( see link in my sig )
I'm not sure, in every jurisdiction, that checking with the jurisdiction is the wisest choice for the first call, other than where it is required. Some may be rather unschooled in the niceties, and may have impractical suggestions or unreasonable demands. Too often, I see all photo chemicals lumped in together as if they all had one environmental profile, and one mitigation routine. Perhaps larger and more sophisticated municipalities will have an accurate understanding of the various materials involved, but I'd look before I leap. Regardless, responsible disposal is a responsibility and educating yourself is the first step. Many people here have a great deal of knowledge they are happy to offer.
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I've just joined the APUG, saw your post. I have one of those tanks for my B&W darkroom. Local council regs state that a permanent darkroom must have one- (I rescued mine in a throwout at the local college). The stones are marble, analagous to limestone, and they supposedly neutralise acidity, making their effluent ph neutral and therefore better for the environment. Works, apparently. We never clean them. Having said that, you should be keeping your exhausted fixer in the containers it came in, not just pouring it down the sink, as this is where the silver is. Try and find someone who recovers silver in your state or area, they will take the fixer, get the silver, and give you half the money. I haven't done this for a long time, am just starting my first darkroom in 25 years, so I'll let you know how it goes.
Re. the silver, apparently as the other reply said, steel wool or old scrap steel is chucked into big plastic tubs, the fixer is poured in. After a certain amount of time, don't know how long, but days, not hours, - silver binds to the steel. Liquid is poured off, steel is put in a furnace, silver melts out somehow, is poured out, thereby recovered. I've never done this myself, but once knew a bloke who did it for a living. Ask an industrial chemist.
Either way, throwing fixer down the drain is throwing away silver. All other (B&W) chemicals should be OK to pour down. Naturally vestiges of silver will end up there, but if films/prints are properly fixed, the silver will stay in the fixer. You won't get any silver out of the marble tank. And don't throw out the rocks!
Hope this answers your question, and I'm curious too, about what it does to the other typical chemistry which goes down the drain. Have fun and a good new year,
Originally Posted by thebanana
Greetings to all, I am new in the forum.
I have noticed that many of you know about silver recovery; well I already do it a pair of years and have learned a lot of by practice. But there is something that I cannot solve.
Good, I process every 20 liters of X-ray fixer and have noticed that when this one has been mixed by a little of another mark of fixer (sometimes the radiologists add slightly more of fixer when it already does not fix sufficient), this at the time of processing gets dark only after a few minutes of initiating the electrolysis, I assume that there is a formation of silver sulfide, losing this way the efficiency of the cell and obtaining black silver.
Also the silver sulfide in the fixer when it stopped processing does not decant even after a month of rest.
I generally work with 10 amperes as maximum and process manual fixer and when the fixer is not combined by another mark I do not have any problem, the process is excellent.
Someone might advise me, how to solve this disadvantage? and what could I make to recovery the whole silver sulfide in suspension?
I dont know, maybe some chemist might add.
I will be grateful for your help, and allow me to say to you that I find interesting all your comments.
The problem is probably that the fixer then isn't exhausted, and therefore interferes with the process. Tell them to make a fresh batch when it stops fixing properly, or fix a bit of scrap film until it stops fixing properly again. Undeveloped film is best for this, that way you're making sure that you get as much silver in the fix as possible since the film contains almost no free silver and just silver halide.
Canon F1n / FTb / AE-1P | Yashica Mat-124G | Hasselblad 500C/M | Leica IIIf
Hi, I am new in the forum and I would want to get more information about silver recovery.
The last two years I was recovery silver from X-Ray fixer solutions and I have had good results but as long as I desilver fixer solutions from automatic labs.
I find problems when I desilver manual fixers which in my country is still using.
I have built an eletrolytic cell for 20 liter and it has an graphite anode and a stainless stell cathode; usually I work which 10 amperes - 4 volts but when I desilver which this parameters manual X-Ray fixer this "burn" and even if I reduce it until 1 ampere.
I tried to find a solution for this anyway but I have not had success.
Please If somebody has an advice what to do I will be really grateful for your help.
I hope I get a soon answer.
Thak you very much Stuggi, unfortunally problem persists.