Silver filtering and recycling program

x-ray (7K)

Recycling film (photographic, x-ray, microfiche)

Black and white photographic film, X-ray film and original microfiche contain large amounts of silver and are recycled via EH&S. To have these items recycled, fill out and fax or mail us a Chemical Waste Collection Request. Do not throw these items in the trash because silver is too toxic to go in landfills.

Color film and copies of microfiche do not contain enough silver to be hazardous waste. Copies have a white band along the top edge. Purple (rather than black) microfiche also doesn’t contain silver. These can be recycled through the e.Media program at UW Seattle or else placed in the trash.


Photographic fixer

Used photographic fixer has high concentrations of silver in it. By law, the concentration of silver in fixer must be less than 3 parts per million (ppm) before it can be poured down the drain. Treatment systems separate the silver from the fixer so that the silver can be recycled and the treated fixer can be poured down the sink. To have your photographic fixer treated by EH&S, fill out and send a Chemical Waste Collection Request.

Some laboratories have their own fixer treatment systems that are serviced regularly by contractors. Email chmwaste@uw.edu for more details.


Photo developer

Spent photo developer can be poured down the drain as long as it has not been mixed with fixer.


Go digital!

We strongly encourage you to switch to or start with digital technology when possible. Digital technology eliminates the need for hazardous chemicals altogether and will pay for itself in reduced film, chemical and recycling costs in the long term.