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  1. #61
    wclavey's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    I have called the local hazmat service provider for our community and have not gotten a final answer... I am investigating the 2 solutions in parallel.

    We have 2 scheduled hazmat pickups each year (paint, distillates, oil, grease, etc... and I would assume I could put it out with that), and the CSR on the phone told me that she thought I would have to set up an account and schedule pickups if I didn't want to sit on it for the twice a year pick-ups. But I'm waiting for the area manager to call me back.

    At my current pace it would only be about 2-3 gallons/month (depending on the mix of 4x5 and 120), so holding it would not be too big a problem, but if I can reasonably treat it and then put it down the drain, that's better for me and my limited space.

  2. #62
    Joe VanCleave's Avatar
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    I see your question as essentially boiled down to the environmental ramifications of semiconductor manufacturing and the life-cycle of the manufactured components versus that of film and processing chemisty.

    The advantage, recycling-wise, that I see with film and associated chemistry manufacturing is that the products are relatively widely segragated already, in their manufactured state. Recycling chemistry and even film or paper is straight-forward, compared with what it would take to truly recycle the hazardous chemicals and elements from semiconductors.

    The problem with semiconductors such as IC's (intergrated circuits) is that implanted within the silicon chips are grids of arsenic, phosphorus and boron, the three common 'dopants' used to make silicon either positive or negatively doped. And these doped regions are microscopic in size, and physically located in microscopic proximity to one another. Meaning that if you were to attempt to remove the arsenic doped into the source regions of each microscopic transistor, you'd have to essentially reverse-engineer the entire semiconductor manufacturing process. You'd have to lay down lithography masks to etch away each region, for instance. And you don't have access to the litho mask for each layer within the chip: they're proprietary.

    So the common recycling strategy is to 'assume' that the chips, in their packages, are 'inert'. Whether or not they really are is a more difficult question to answer. Perhaps these chips can be ground up into a slurry, and then their constituent chemical elements reduced, isolated and seperated chemically. Of course, this begins to sound like a process just as environmentally problematic as the original manufacturing process itself.

    I think therefore that analog/chemical photography products are far less problematic to manufacture and recycle. Whether they are, in actual fact, manufactured and recycled in an environmentally conscious manner is not a technological problem, but rather a regulatory issue.

    Recycling integrated circuits, on the other hand, is a big problem that hasn't been solved yet.

    Just my 2 bits.

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