disposal of fixer

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Should special care be taken when disposing of fixer? or can it just be dumped down the drain? I have heard it can corrode metal pipes. Any info is helpful.-J

-- josh (devil_music@usa.net), January 31, 2001


Hey, with the Republicans in the Whitehouse, just dump it down the drain. No one will give a damn.

-- James Overratedone (olddude@aol.com), January 31, 2001.

You can buy a silver recovery unit for small quantities for about $35. After you recover the silver, you can safely pour the remaining liquid down the drain. Porter's carries them for $34.95--called the Silver Magnet.

-- Ed Buffaloe (edb@unblinkingeye.com), January 31, 2001.

I have seen this question asked and answered in many professional photographic magazines. The answer is a function of your quantity. If you are processing a rather small quantity of films as a hobby, diluting them before disposing them down the drains is probably acceptable. The ratios of these as a percentage of the total effluent will render them harmless. However, if photography it is a profession, purchase a device that will remove the silver from the fixer. I do not believe that in their diluted folm, corrosion of pipes will be a concern. The whole point in removing the silver from fixer is that in larger concentrations, metals in the drain water is a problem. The water district here in Colorado regularly runs tests to determine if these substances are present and if so, they narrow down the culprit and levy fines. They do not want the photo processors taking the east road from their responsibilities of cleaning up their used photo chemistry.

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@home.com), January 31, 2001.

Contact your local hazardous household waste department.

I live in SF bay area. We can't put it down the drain, as it isn't removed by sewage treatement plants, and ends up in the bay, and in the marine life. As a result of hazardous waste in the bay, there are signs posted at the fishing sites telling you what your limit is to eat without poisoning yourself. Judging by the looks of the bay water I won't eat anything!

-- Charlie Strack (charlie_strack@sti.com), January 31, 2001.

The silver that is.

Everything else is OK. Most metals are toxic. Probably all are.

-- Charlie Strack (charlie_strack@sti.com), January 31, 2001.

What you are REQUIRED to do varies from quite a bit depending on your locale. Where I live they want you to take UN-mixed chemistry to the local disposal unit for household waste. For mixed chemistry they say flush it down the drain with plenty of running water. They don't differentiate between Pyro, used fixer, stop bath or toner.

Want you want to do is of course up to you. You could contact the local college or university and see if they have a B&W photo dept., contact the person responsible for the lab and see if they have a silver reclamation program. Then save up your fixer and take it in every so often. You could also contact the local photo processors and see what they do, and if they are willing add your expired effluent to thiers. I've gone both routes.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), January 31, 2001.

>>The whole point in removing the silver from fixer >>is that in larger concentrations, metals in the drain water is a >>problem

Not at all, its the fact that the silver is highly toxic. Thats the problem, and the reason why it shouldnt be put down the drain.

-- Wayne (wsteffen@skypoint.com), February 01, 2001.

Hi all the safest disposal for fixer check out Itronics.com


-- Bill Jefferson (jefferw@together.net), February 01, 2001.

I've found a nice resource for photochemical disposal methods.



-- Daniel Wu (djwu@mail.com), May 16, 2002.

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