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Disposing of old photographic chemicals

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by El_Sid, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    A colleague of mine has some old photographic chemicals that he needs to dispose of. It's very old and not fit for use but he has no idea of how to get rid of it.

    I doubt they are the sort of chemicals that one should pour down the sink so does anyone know of a suitable method of disposal?
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  2. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Ring the Council

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  3. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    I would contact your council.
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  4. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I must admit to having formerly having a very large field. A spade, some effort and mine went in the hole. There wasn't much, by the way.
  5. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Our local council will collect. I imagine that's pretty standard.Just put them in a container you don't want back. I imagined they were going to come and pour them into a tanker of some sort but no, they took away my gallon flasks as well as the spent developer etc.
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  6. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Hi Nigel,

    I had a similar question a few weeks ago and I suggested that they get in touch with one of several pro labs to see who they
    get to dispose of the chemicals.


  7. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    Alternatively, does the local tip have a refuse 'centre' where people can deliver their junk, including chemicals?

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  8. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    No tips here only Household Waste Recycling Centres I.e., tips with skips
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  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

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  10. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera In the Stop Bath

    When I knew my darkroom activities were coming to an end each film I developed (35mm) the chemicals went down the loo and was well flushed away but they were only tiny quantities at a time but that was quite a few years ago, nowadays I dont think this is allowed but there is far worse stuff flushed down the loo these days than film chemicals, if you decide to flush them down in the sink then make sure you have some decent waste pipes as some chemicals will rot them very quickly!
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
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  11. tankflyboss

    tankflyboss Member

    This is my informed, but not professional opinion if you get my drift.

    Provided solely for entertainment value:

    If you live in anything approaching a reasonably sized conurbation tip it down the lav' on a rainy day. As the old adage in our industry goes "the best solution for pollution is dilution."

    If you are lucky enough to live in a small hamlet or similar and there's a chance you're very close to the works I'd find somebody who can meet the requirements of the first point. Some very small settlements have scarcely any 'treatment' beyond for the obvious things which are dealt with by an organic process (often just a reed bed) before being tipped in to a brook.

    If you're connected to works which handles gigalitres a day, you've got rather a dilution there!

    I used to occasionally visit the UK's largest film and photographic factory (the one that closed not too long ago) and whilst they did have a silver recovery process everything else was 'dealt with' under a permit through the usual utility treatment works. I can't say much more here.
    Do not dispose of in a septic tank system.
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Really? Which ones?


  13. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    If you could bottle UV light it would rot Polypropylene waste pipes. (which is why they go brittle if used outside without being painted.)
    But I can't think of a Photo processing chemical that would damage any domestic pipes.

    I had a boss once that also owned a metal plating company.
    He had all my sinks made of Teak, lined with 1/8 inch lead. complete with lead waste pipes.
    They made truly beautiful sinks. The main sink was 12ft long and 2ft wide by 8" deep, the entire thing could be flooded as a pumped constant depth shallow water bath to maintain temperatures.
  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Terry,

    You really should know by now that merely having some idea of what you are talking about is absolutely no qualification for posting authoritative replies.

    Hence the Brexit contempt for experts.



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