Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies

Are you a hospital or chiropractor who has large quantities of older x-ray films that you no longer need to keep stored? Or are you a radiological lab that has changed over to digital imaging, but which still has a lot of unused x-ray film, fixer solutions, and other supplies that you no longer need? If so, you could have silver that can be profitably extracted, refined and recycled.

Extracting the Silver from Older X-Rays and Films

Used X-ray film sent to Specialty Metals by our customers. It's just one of the types of silver-bearing medical, dental, industrial and graphic arts films scrap we recycle.

Used X-ray film sent to Specialty Metals by our customers. It's just one of the types of silver-bearing medical, dental, industrial and graphic arts films scrap we recycle.

How is silver extracted from older x-rays and films? It’s an interesting story. In years past, recycling companies usually burned them and then extracted silver from the ash – a dirty and time-consuming process. Today the extraction is done more efficiently, by shredding films and treating them with chemicals that extract the silver. There’s another reason why this more modern approach makes sense – since x-ray films are made of chemicals that are coated onto a plastic film, that plastic can also be reclaimed during modern chemical processing. There is not much dollar value in that plastic, but after chemical processing it can be recycled, just as used plastic soda bottles are.

Call Us to Learn More

If you have a quantity of older x-rays or x-ray supplies, it is worth calling us at 800-426-2344 to discuss recycling them. It’s also a responsible thing to do. You’ll get paid for the silver they contain and at the same time, prevent silver from ending up in landfills.  

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