Code of Management Practice Guide for Photo Processors

The Code of Management Practice Guide for Photo Processors is a set of recommended operating procedures designed to reduce both the amount of silver and the overall volume of solutions discharged to the drain.
Download the Full Guide (PDF)

Limitations

The Code of Management Practice Guide for Photo Processors does not supercede existing local regulations. Use this Guide only after the local municipality has adopted the Code of Management Practice for Silver Dischargers into regulation. Use of this Guide where the Code has not been adopted may cause the photo processor to be out of compliance with local regulations. Before using the Guide, each photo processor should check with the local government agency to determine its regulatory requirements. 

Introduction

Photo processing effluent is a by-product of processing photographic films and papers. After silver recovery, this effluent is generally discharged to the drain where it goes to the publicly owned treatment works (POTW) for treatment, and eventual release back to the environment.

Silver is the component of film and paper that makes it possible to form an image. While it’s not an ingredient of fresh photographic solutions, during processing the silver is removed from the film and paper and goes into the solutions. Silver should be recovered from silver-rich solutions before they are discharged to the drain because:

  • silver is a non-renewable resource,
  • some cities/towns restrict the amount of silver that can be discharged, and
  • silver has economic value.

A silver-rich solution is a solution that contains sufficient silver that cost-effective recovery can be done either on-site or off-site. Silver-rich solutions include fix, bleach-fix, stabilizer from washless systems, and low flow wash.

Effective silver recovery requires equipment that is appropriate to the size and activities of the photo processor. It also requires implementing a sound preventive maintenance program. Providing you with this silver recovery information is the primary focus of the Code of Management Practice Guide for Photo Processors.

The Code of Management Practice Guide for Photo Processors is a set of recommended operating procedures designed to reduce both the amount of silver and the overall volume of solutions discharged to the drain.

The other element of the Guide is pollution prevention. In addition to recovering silver efficiently, photo processors should be concerned with minimizing the amount of waste they create. Waste solutions are literally money down the drain. In cases where the solutions can’t be discharged to a drain, it costs money for off-site disposal. That’s why it makes sense to minimize waste in the first place. The second half of the Guide details several activities a photo processor can undertake to reduce waste and save money.

The Code of Management Practice Guide for Photo Processors is an industry recommended guide. It is NOT a legal requirement. It was written by people just like yourselves - people who manage photo processing labs.

The Guide takes the guesswork out of determining the specific silver recovery configurations and preventive maintenance activities you need. 
To Keep Reading, Download the Guide Now (PDF) 

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