Photographic Waste Recycling

Disposal of Photographic Chemicals and Film

No photo chemicals with a pH of less than or equal to 2 or greater than or equal to 12.5 can be disposed of down the drain.

Spent Developer (alkaline) and Spent Stop Bath (acidic): may be combined in a single container (with good ventilation) to neutralize the solutions (pH ~7) and make them nonhazardous. Then the combined solution can be disposed of down the sink.

Fixers, toners, reducers or intensifiers: cannot be placed untreated down the sink because they contain silver and other heavy metals. These chemicals should be combined into one container and labelled as Hazardous Waste. Dispose of through EH&S using the online Chemical Waste Pickup Request Form.

Darkrooms which have a silver recovery unit installed must ensure that all spent fixer flows through the silver recovery unit, rendering the solution non-hazardous; the fixer solution may then be disposed of down the drain. Individuals using darkrooms which do not have a silver recovery unit should contact EH&S at 392-8400 to determine whether or not a unit can be installed for this purpose.

All unused, concentrated photographic materials: must be handled by EH&S as a hazardous waste.

Photographic film: must be recycled through EH&S.

  • Extraction of silver
  • Reducing risk from photo processing solutions
  • Resources for the the photo processing industry
  • Characteristic Sludge Exclusion
  • “Closed Loop Recycling” Exclusion

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