Best way to dispose fixer


TPF Noob!
May 16, 2007
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I'm pretty sure I've posted something similar months ago.. but I was living in NY. Anyhow, can anyone recommend the best way to dispose of fixer in the London area? I process my B&W film at home but have no idea what to do with the fixer. Cheers!
Depends whether or not you have a septic system or not. If you have a septic system, then put exhausted fixer in a spare coffee can with a few fine steel wool pads from any place that sells woodworking supplies. That'll get the silver out. Leave it for a day and then just pour it on the ground outside, but not into the veggie patch.

If you don't have a septic system just wash it down the drain. Silver isn't toxic, but it is an antibiotic which is why it mess's with septic tanks.

In fact, I'm using a wound dressing with silver ions right now to keep some foot ulcers from getting infected. (I'm a paraplegic and sometimes I get pressure sores), but the steel wool should reduce the amount of Ag+ ions to trace levels.

Make certain your fixer is exhausted first by using a couple drops of potassium iodide solution.
I'm pretty sure pouring fixer down the drain is illegal in most U.S. states. (o.p. is in NY)

I know here in L.A. there are collection centers for toxic things. I'm sure NY has them too. Call up a photo lab or school that has a photography course and maybe they'll be willing to give you disposal info.
Heh.. well, i'm sure there's no way for them to really find out..
Sure, but do you endorse killing the already messed up environment?

Not me.. I get mad when I see trash on the sidewalk.. I have jugs of fixer and old oil mineral spirits in my cabinet waiting for disposal.
Heavy metals are what most are concerned about, i.e. silver. Most fixers today use ammonium thiosulfate, commonly found in dozens of household products that get dumped down the drain every day.

Use half a pad per gallon. A black sludge will form as well in the container and this should be discarded in the trash, not the drain.

Also, using fixer to exhaustion creates complex silver compounds that are hard to break down and this trick becomes far less effective

Here is your original post:
Its not illegal in Colorado, and I'm pretty sure that unless the area that you are in sends raw sewage out into the ocean, the environment is fine.

And like bobby said, silver is not toxic, as a matter of fact, the mine silver out of the ground!! :D
I pour mine down the drain, just like I do with anti-freeze. Most American cities (Note: this only applies to cities with sewage treatment plants) treat their sewage to remove toxins before releasing the effluent into evaporating ponds or into local rivers. This water is "clean," according to the EPA (not that I'd want to drink it, but it's not dangerous) enough for the adjacent waters to be used for swimming. That's the idea of the Clean Water Act, BTW. Silver, as a heavy metal, will have been removed through the sedimentation process.
I take it to school and pour it in thiers when my old teacher is there. Dont know what i am going to do next year when I move though.
Thanks everyone! I tried to call one of the schools around here and they're not sure if they want to take my used fixer! I think I'll try to do the thing w/ the can and spill it out... I dunno... if my building has a septic system...
Developer mixed with fixer forms a nearly neutral mass. That can safely be disposed of down the drains.

Alternatively, dilute it and pour it down the drain.

Stop bath is acetic acid aka vinegar and that really doesn't matter.

Before you dispose of your fixer, settle the silver out of it. Eventually you'll get enough silver to be able to sell it.
What about developer - how should it be disposed of?

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