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Business Waste: Photo Fixer
Proper Disposal: The following solutions are hazardous: spent fixer from X-ray development and spent fixer, bleach, bleach-fixer and stabilizer from photoprocessing. These solutions must go through a silver recovery process or be handled as hazardous waste. Once the silver in the solution has been reduced to three ppm through silver recovery, the fixer can go into King County's sanitary sewer.

Your local sewer utility may have different requirements. You have two other options for handling silver-bearing photo solutions:
• Return it to the company that sells you photo processing chemicals.
• Hire a waste management firm to pick up the fixer.

If you are doing specialty color or microfiche development, you may need to test for other hazardous compounds (cyanide and chromium) and pH to determine if your waste meets local sewer limits. For more information, call Industrial Waste at 206-263-3000 or go to the King County Industrial Waste Program link below.
Recycle: Reclaim silver from X-ray development and spent fixer, bleach, bleach-fixer and stabilizer from photoprocessing. Use a silver recovery service or buy or lease your own treatment unit.

Send spent canisters or other silver-bearing residues from on-site reclamation to a precious metal recycler. Be sure your treated fixer meets the limits set by your sewer utility. Wastewater with silver at concentrations greater than five ppm is considered hazardous waste. Your regional or local sewer district may have stricter limits (e.g., three ppm for King County sewers) for discharging wastewater.

If you purchase your own unit, two chemical recovery cartridges in series are needed. Electrolytic recovery units alone won't meet discharge limits.
Potential Hazards: Used fixer and bleach-fixer solutions contain high concentrations of silver (3,000-8,000 parts per million [ppm]). Because of these high silver levels, used fixer is a hazardous waste, and fixer solutions cannot be poured down the drain or into a septic system.
Safer Alternatives: --
Collection Facilities Info: Small Business Hazardous Waste Disposal – What wastes can I bring?
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Last Modified: 07/12/2016

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