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  1. #1
    brYan's Avatar
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    How does everyone dispose of their used chemistry, in particular, fixer?

    Also, is having a home darkroom with a septic system incompatible?

  2. #2
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    There is a thread from a couple of months ago about the septic system question. There is a lot of good info in there.
    hi!

  3. #3
    brYan's Avatar
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    Brian...

    I did look in this section for my answer. Is the thread in a different part of the forum?

  4. #4

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (brYan @ Jan 9 2003, 10:42 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Brian...

    I did look in this section for my answer. Is the thread in a different part of the forum?</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    BrYan is in the darkroom forum. Here is the link:



    http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?act=ST...617406ea30da2b3


  5. #5
    brYan's Avatar
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    Found it&#33; Thanks, Jorge.

    From what I understand, it seems there are more hazardous household chemicals to dump down a drain than used fixer.

  6. #6

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (brYan @ Jan 9 2003, 11:12 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Found it&#33; Thanks, Jorge.

    From what I understand, it seems there are more hazardous household chemicals to dump down a drain than used fixer.</td></tr></table><span id='postcolor'>
    Well, yeah.....ok what I have read states that you should mix the developer and the stop bath to neutralize the solutions. Some even claim they are good for septic tanks because they provide organic material. I dont know and I would not bet my 8x10 on it. Silver is what is known as heavy metal, much like mercury although not that harmful. Depending on the concentration it could harm the bacteria in your septic tank, but many people have told me it is not so for hobbiest darkroom quantities. As a manager for household hazardous waste collection, we used to take fixer as a haz waste, but the limit was 5 gals, kind of dumb if you ask me but I did not make the rules. Your best bet would be to take Ed&#39;s advice and get one of them little silver recovery gizmos. This way you are sure not to mess up your septic tank.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
    brYan's Avatar
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    Any comments as far as a sewer system goes?

  9. #9

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    You should check your local regulations on your local sewer systems.

    As far as I remember (someone correct me if I&#39;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&#39;re fixing, whether you&#39;re repleneshing it, etc.

    Different forms of silver have their own toxicity, and higher concentrations make things more toxic as well. The big danger to the environment is free ionic silver, which can kill fish, aquatic plants and the like. Silver thiosulfate is pretty stable, but if I remember correctly it can degrade to silver sulfide, which probably releases some silver over time (but not too much as it&#39;s pretty insoluble), but which is much less toxic than something like silver nitrate.

    In the USA, the EPA has a sewer discharge limit of 5 mg/L of total silver (which includes the harmful ionic form and the less harmful thiosulfate and sulfide forms). Anything above than can be classified as hazardous waste. Obviously, this level is much lower than what your fixer probably has (I&#39;m not sure how high it would get with just a couple of films/papers). Labs and the like are required to treat their fixer waste. Amatuers, as far as I know, aren&#39;t required to. Again, find out your local regulations.

    Your local wastewater (sewer) treatment plant might have an activated sludge system, where microorganisms break down dissolved organics into stable compounds, water and carbon dioxide, as well as produce more microorganisms. Free ionic silver can kill these guys and upset the process, making the plant less efficient.
    Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

  10. #10
    ann
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    With regard to fixer; check with a local processor;( your dealer may be more apt to do this for you (if they have a developing system). they usually recycle and may do it for you. Mine takes care of our fixer.
    http://www.aclancyphotography.com

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