Skip to main content

7.14 Photographic Chemicals

Some photographic chemicals contain heavy metals such as Silver, Chromium, and Selenium that may be above regulatory levels and must be handled as hazardous waste.

Used photographic fixer contains Silver above regulatory levels and cannot be poured down the drain; however, some photographic developers and other chemicals may be disposed of down the drain depending on the chemical constituents.

If you are unsure whether a photographic chemical is acceptable for drain disposal, then please see Appendix B of this manual or submit a question to "askEHS".

Cornell University has Silver Reclamation Units at a number of locations on campus to recover silver while minimizing hazardous waste. Negatives from x-ray units, old or expired photographic paper and film, and other photography are collected and shipped offsite for silver recovery. More information on these units can be found on the Silver Reclamation Tipsheet.