You can recover chemistry easily, it helps to have the unit on a counter or a table with a hole in it to allow the drain hose to pass through. In any case it has to drain into some waste container but if you wish to recover a specific bath you capture it as it pumps out after each stage. I ran one of these for a few years and you get to know the sounds pretty well. I would recycle fixer in the b&w process regularly. It's a nice unit, never had any trouble with it.