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we use edelchemie for our waste chemicals who upto press have not made any charge. However recently they say our waste doesn't contain enough silver and they now charge to take it.

Firstly, I don't understand why the silver content should alter, as far as I'm concerned nothing's changed at our end.

Secondly, anybody recommend anyone else who might take it for nowt ?

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We used to also have a company "take" our waste effluent, and they also said "there's not enough silver".

We kicked them out, bought a used silver recovery unit from a store that closed down ($500) ( or just make your own ), got 2 new canisters ($95@ from Hallmark Refining) and on our first recycle got a check for over $1200 USD after all the misc. paper work and refining fees -- it paid for the silver recovery unit, the 2 canisters, all shipping costs, we're not dumping, and have nothing to fear except more big checks!   Don't let them TAKE your stuff for free.  Make them pay YOU for it.  I was kicking myself for not doing this sooner.

The other company was basically ROBBING US BLIND saying there's not enough silver in our effluent.  I don't even want to know how much they were getting away with when we were averaging over 100+ rolls of film per day.

Silver is now around $16 an ounce.

Find a local refiner, get the equipment (cheap if bought from a defunct store) and make some SERIOUS "cash from your trash".

We chose Hallmark Refining because a lot of other Photo labs had nothing but good things to say about them, but this is in the US.

I don't know of trust worthy refiners in the UK.  I would hope Neil or another "old timer" would know.

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Silver recovery is all about trust if you don't do it yourself, haul away is subject to the same crazy costs that we all have, if you can concentrate the waste by some form then that cuts out the bulk.

Silver plating your drain pipes is down right crazy in more than environmental matters, at least run it through a wire wool cartridge.

Just a point the bulk of your silver comes from your film processing, 5-7 grams/ltr.

We are not processing as many films and the paper manufactures are cutting the amounts of silver form the paper

On the do it yourself I knew a guy who converted his outside toilet into what he called Eldorado. He made his own batch processing, electrolytic silver recovery unit. been a bit sceptical about the refiners who still had to handle his deposited silver, he purchased a jewellers smelting unit, using town gas and compressed air. I spent a very productive afternoon with him making .5 kilo bricks of Silver bullion. God bless JA

Watch out for the VAT man when you come to sell

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We use a Metafix recovery system and have done so for a few years now and as Big Dace has mentioned it is well worth it with x3 nice cheques received upon the return of our cartridges, the firs was a great surprise but to notice the two others behind was great $$$$

I have also in the past been visited by the Enviromental inspection agency who questioned the functionality of the unit and HOW do I know it actually worked.

A sample was sent off for testing, providing me with a certificate and we were all happy.

It's also a very small unit saving a lot of space.

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Have I been the only mug paying for it to be collected ? (in UK)

for many years Tudor through silver lining took ALL our waste away - about 1000l /month of everything from dev, blx, and all the rinses from both C41 and RA4

Paperwork requires us to be registered with enviro agency, and each consignment has some paperwork charge, so now we are paying £30 per collection, but volumes are down to maybe every 2 or 3 months.

This 'special' deal was arranged by Fuji / FIS / FDIS and Silverlining.

WE process about 40 films per day.

I did contact edelchemie about 18m ago, and their price was a lot more.

It seems that the cost of paperwork is greater than the value of the silver......

Out of interest, - what do you do with the parts which don't contain silver? - surely you don't dump the dev down the drain ? - and the rinses have very tiny bits of silver in, - not worth collecting, yet too high to dump.


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I am dead sure you should not be putting DEV into the drain even if it has been through your unit.

Metals are a no-no in the water stream, - but so are BOD's - these are chemicals which place a demand for biological oxygen into the water treatment system, they suppress the good bugs of somthing......

Just because you are not getting caught means that it is legal, or ethical......

just think of the little fishes....

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Hum, well when we installed our recovery unit we went through the process of checking out what could go down the drain rather than what could not, inother words could all?

This depends upon your local water company and the procedures and limits that are acceptable to that particular area and in our case the enviromental department contacted us and checked what we were doing and got the thumbs up!

Therefore you must obtain a "Consent to Discharge" approved by your local water authority.

Bleach is an acceptable product which in turn helps to break down the various effluent products which are received by your local treatment plant but of course without the silver and again depending upon your location it will differ from 1 - 3 parts in a million as the accepted level, dev can be put through a recovery unit but beware that you maintain the pipes more often as it tends to block the system if not watched carefully.

Before posting this reply I needed to check on instructions we received some 5 years ago on this very subject and far as we are aware it is still the same. We also understand that inspections are made without notice and samples are taken away for analysis so don't do as we do  - check with your local water authority first and obtain your approval because it will more than likely be different!

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The benefit of a Metafix unit is that the waste goes to drain in small amounts, basically its repped away, so you are not dumping 10 or 20 lts down the loo at once. The units can be plumbed in and as long as the pipe runs are not miles and not uphill they work great, they can fit sub tanks with pumps to get the waist up and over doors or from a basement to a drain upstairs if required and all are alarmed so they don't overflow all over the shop. A neat solution and a cheque every few months what more can you ask?

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i have been into silver recovery since 1984, we first used photomec equipment  and later  large batch

ARRI . we have never put devloper into it because it contians no silver. it is only in c-41 fixer and stabil

you get it and in the case of paper process b/fix and wash solution. never in developer. check the funtion

of each solution and this will be clear.

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