FACT SHEET #11
NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY PROCEDURE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF USED WASTE PHOTOGRAPHIC FIXER.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulates the disposal of waste fixer containing silver as a hazardous waste. Developer may also be regulated if it is contaminated with silver, however this should not generally happen. These regulations enforced by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority strictly prohibit disposal down the sanitary sewer system. This means that all waste fixer that is not processed through a silver recovery system must be collected as a recyclable hazardous waste. All personnel handling fixer waste must be appropriately trained.
Waste fixer should be collected in appropriate glass or plastic containers with secure covers or caps. If a photo laboratory does not have an appropriate container for collection of this material, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) can provide 4 liter bottles and/or 20 liter plastic buckets. Containers must be kept in secure areas such as cabinets or benches and away from the floor near doorways where they can be knocked over or broken.
All containers used for the collection of fixer must be labeled during the time of accumulation. Key information to include on the label are the words “hazardous waste” and “toxic”, type of photographic waste, and the start date of accumulation. OEHS has labels available that you should use to meet this requirement.
Full labeled containers are picked-up on a monthly schedule, which is arranged with OEHS. When you fill or anticipate filling your container(s), please contact OEHS at x2769 to be put on the schedule for the next pick-up date. If you require a more frequent pick-up schedule, you can arrange to bring your waste to our recycling location at a scheduled time.
The U.S. Congress has made waste minimization a national policy and goal of each waste generator. You as a user of photographic chemicals have the responsibility to minimize the waste you generate. Waste minimization has benefits such as decreasing your exposure to hazardous substances, protection of the environment, and the reduction in the cost of disposal which can exceed the initial purchase price of a photographic chemical many times over.
For scheduling disposal or additional information, please contact OEHS at x2769.