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What is Silver Reclamation?

Jul 14, 2016

Silver is heavy metal found in some of the things used in the medical and science industry. The EPA lists it as a hazardous waste for its toxicity. Silver is contained in many different types of electronics and other equipment used by a variety of industries. Because of its hazardous nature, silver must be handled differently than other types of waste. This type of disposal must be performed by a professional trained in the silver reclamation process.

Where is Silver Found?

Silver can be found anywhere from camera film to electronics. Most commonly, you’ll find silver in medical X-Rays. That’s not all though, some other common silver containing items are:

  • MRI Film
  • CT Scan Film
  • Radiographs
  • Lithographs

So what is Silver Reclamation?

Silver Reclamation, or Silver Recovery, is the process by which silver is extracted from waste in order to reuse it since it is a hazardous yet valuable resource. We don’t want to loose the silver we have to a landfill, which is why it is important for medical facilities to have a trained professional remove that waste and dispose of it safely.

How is is removed?

Years ago, X-rays were burned, the ashes were melted away and then the remaining silver was recovered. This process is outdated and we now use a greener method of reclamation. Today we use a “washing” method, whereby the X-rays are bathed in chemicals that remove the silver safely. Once the silver is out, the plastic in the X-rays can be recycled and disposed of. The silver is then removed from the chemical wash in a lab and melted down or stored.

The EPA and Maryland Department of the Environment consider BWS to be a destination facility for the recovery of silver. We transport liquids containing waste silver, such as waste from an x-ray fixer, under a hazardous waste manifest to our secure Baltimore warehouse. There we process the liquids in our electrolytic recovery unit and extract the toxic silver.

If you want to learn more about Silver Recovery or are a medical facility in need of waste removal contact us for a free quote.

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7610 Energy Parkway
Baltimore, MD 21226