Precious Metals: What to Look for When You’re Cleaning Out a Medical Facility

Precious Metals: What to Look for When You’re Cleaning Out a Medical Facility

Whether you’re clearing out or cleaning up a hospital, a nursing home, a testing lab or a medical facility of a different kind, you have good opportunities to cash in on precious metals.

Medical facilities are home to many kinds of supplies and equipment that contain gold, silver, platinum and even cadmium.

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How Hospital Administrators Can Become Recycling Stars

How Hospital Administrators Can Become Recycling Stars

If you are an administrator at a hospital, chances are good that you have an unusual opportunity . . .

You can turn unused supplies and equipment into a significant source of income

Are you taking advantage of the opportunity to recycle all the unused precious metals that can be found in your facilities? If not, let’s find out how.

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These Recyclable Materials Contain Precious Metals

These Recyclable Materials Contain Precious Metals

When we answered our phone a few weeks ago, a very nice gentleman told us that he had collected more than 1,000 used printer cartridges that he wanted to recycle. “How can I send them to you to be processed?” he asked. We had to give him the bad news that print cartridges do not contain precious metals. We explained that some of the ink they once contained might have contained tiny quantities of silver, and that some ink cartridges have circuit boards that contain extremely small quantities of gold - but that even in the best of circumstances, he didn’t have enough of any precious metal that we could profitably extract for him. We suggested that he take his cartridges to an office supply store that participates in manufacturers’ recycling programs.

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Can You Recycle Precious Metals from Medicines and Medical Devices?

Can You Recycle Precious Metals from Medicines and Medical Devices?

Please take a minute to consider this imaginary story… You buy an old retail building that was once home to several stores. One of them was a pharmacy. While you’re exploring there, you open a drawer and find several dozen boxes of old wound dressings that contain silver. You then send those wound dressing to a precious metals refinery like us, we process them, and send you a nice big check for several hundred dollars. It's a nice fantasy, isn’t it? But if you find any, they are not going to contain enough silver to be worth much. Sorry to deflate your dreams of wealth. But let’s look at some other places where silver and other precious metals can be found in the world of medicine. 

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Three Reasons Smart Platinum Investors Are Making a Fortune Today

Three Reasons Smart Platinum Investors Are Making a Fortune Today

Many platinum investors are frozen in place today. Although they own scrapped catalytic converters, old lab testing vessels and other items that contain platinum, they are waiting until platinum prices increase before cashing in. Meanwhile, smart platinum investors are cashing in. Like other contrarian investors, they are moving ahead instead of staying fixated on just one factor as a sign of when to sell. Here are three compelling reasons why this is a great time to recycle platinum today instead of waiting...

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What Are the Platinum Group Metals?

What Are the Platinum Group Metals?

Chances are that you only find small quantities of the valuable secondary platinum group metals (palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium) hiding in recyclable items that you think are made only of platinum. How can you tell if these rarer metals are present?

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A Brief History of Platinum

A Brief History of Platinum

Because platinum wasn’t used widely in jewelry or industry until about 100 years ago, it seems like a “new” precious metal. That’s not really true.  In about 700 B.C., Egyptian artisans were using it to make ornamental objects, like the famous and mysterious Casket of Thebes.  And at the same time, pre-Columbian artisans in South America were fashioning it into small trinkets. Those are only a few fascinating facts about this beautiful, tarnish-resistant, and durable precious metal. Here’s a quick timeline of its fascinating history.

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Are Recyclable Precious Metals Hiding in Your Hospital?

If you’re a hospital administrator, are you overlooking quantities of cadmium, gold, and other precious metals that you could refine for a lot of money?

If you don’t want to let precious metals slip through your fingers, here’s a checklist to keep on hand . . .

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed.
  • Old electronic equipment that you are about to discard could contain quantities of gold (in circuit boards), platinum (in thermocouples that measure temperature or electrical activity remotely), in monitors, and elsewhere. Even if you are distributing new tablet computers to your staff, don’t discard old ones; they could contain more gold on their circuit boards than you expect.
  • Used and unused testing supplies like catheters and testing probes could contain valuable quantities of platinum, palladium, cadmium, and other precious metals.
  • Old x-ray and unused x-ray films contain quantities of silver that can be extracted by a qualified precious metals recycler. Older solutions that were used to develop x-ray film can contain recyclable amounts of silver too.
  • Specialty back-up batteries that were installed in older equipment can contain precious metals.
  • Laboratory crucibles, tongs, and other equipment are often made of platinum.
  • Catalytic converters that are installed on gas and diesel-powered back-up generators contain platinum, palladium and rhodium. If you’re replacing those catalytic converters or your entire back-up power system, don’t let those metals slip away.
  • Decommissioned vehicles, like patient transport vans and ambulances, contain precious metals in many places – in their catalytic converters, in onboard computers, and on printed circuit boards.
  • Old photovoltaic solar panels that you are replacing could contain large quantities of silver – do not allow the company that is installing new panels to simply haul your old ones away.

Those are only a few of the places where precious metals can be found in hospitals. If you take the time to review today’s checklist, you could discover that precious metals are “hiding in plain sight” in your facility.

Related Posts:

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
Recycling Opportunity: More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before
Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables
Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies


Recycling Opportunity - More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before

A revolution is taking place in medical technology, with new equipment and new technologies being introduced weekly. If you’d like to get a quick glimpse of what’s taking place, spend a few minutes scrolling through the entries on MedGadget.com. There, you’ll find announcements of hundreds of new medical products and technologies that are coming to market.

Here’s a sample . . .

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals like platinum, silver and gold that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed
  • Intuitive Surgical just introduced a new version of its Da Vinci surgical machine that will allow a wider range of operations to be performed robotically.
  • Withings has developed a new blood pressure monitoring cuff that sends its readings wirelessly to iPhones and Android devices.
  • Toshiba is launching a compact ultrasound machine that can roll into tighter spaces in hospital rooms.
  • Biotronic makes a new pacemaker that wirelessly sends electrograms to cardiologists.
  • Scientists are developing biodegradable batteries that will dissolve after they have powered devices that are implanted in the body.

And would you believe, all those things were announced on MedGadget.com in just that last 10 days?

Every New Piece of Equipment Makes an Older One Obsolete

The result of all that change is that over time, a lot of older pieces of medical equipment are becoming obsolete. As improved implantable defibrillators come to market, for example, older models get returned to their manufacturers for recycling. As new ultrasound and medical imaging systems come into widespread use, older equipment is no longer needed. Some of it gets put into containers and sent to countries where it is needed. Some of it gets scrapped. And some of it contains valuable quantities of platinum, silver, gold and other precious metals.

Do you work in a hospital, radiology center, or another facility where older equipment is about to become obsolete? If so, that equipment could contain quantities of gold that are worth recycling. Or do you work in a testing center where your stocks of unused cardiac catheters are no longer needed? If so, what will become of the precious metals that they contain? Even the sensor tips of electrophysiology (EP) catheters contain platinum that can be profitably recycled.

If you own older medical equipment or supplies and don’t know about what they are worth, we’re here to help you. Call Specialty Metals at 800-426-2344, tell us what you have, and we’ll be pleased to explain the profit potential for recycling your used laboratory equipment.

Related Posts:

New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies
Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware

 

 

Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware

Maybe you just bought a building or a company where a testing lab was located. Or maybe you work at a university and need to dispose of labware that is no longer used in your science and engineering programs.

Photo of platinum crucible scrap containing platinum alloy, which Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can recycle for your company.

Before you order a dumpster and toss it all, give us a call. Those old crucibles, tongs and other mismatched stuff might look like they’re made of stainless steel or even aluminum, but chances are that they are made of platinum, which is currently trading at over $1,400.00/troy ounce.

Here are some items that you should be on the lookout for.

  • Crucibles, dishes and lids
  • Evaporation dishes
  • The long testing containers known as “boats”
  • Testing electrodes including Fischer, Winkler, Wölbing and Schöniger electrodes*
  • Ignition dishes, in which materials to be tested are ignited
  • Tubes that connect testing tanks
  • Wire wool, perforated disks, meshes, and filters
  • Tongs, tweezers, and spatulas used to handle materials that are being tested

* The mesh in these electrodes contains platinum

Not Sure What Precious Metals You Have that Can Be Recycled?

It’s easy to overlook the potential value that could be hiding in some of the items described above – who would think that a jumble of dirty old metal mesh contains platinum and rhodium and could be worth hundreds of dollars? If you would like to learn how much your used laboratory gear could be worth, give us a call at 800-426-2344.

Related Posts:

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
Demand for Precious Metals Increases with Widespread Healthcare Changes
Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment

If you have testing equipment that you no longer need, what should you do to recoup the value that still resides in it?

This question comes up often at testing labs, medical testing facilities, hospitals and other settings where equipment can become obsolete, inefficient, or too costly to run when newer testing technologies become available. At that time, most companies don’t simply toss their old lab equipment. They recoup some of its value in one of these ways:

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed.
  • They sell their used equipment or trade it in when buying newer equipment. That’s efficient. It also makes good environmental sense if equipment contains chemicals or metals that could cause environmental harm if disposed of improperly.
  • They donate used equipment to hospitals or medical testing centers where it can be kept in use – sometimes in third-world countries. This strategy can provide the donating company with tax advantages. If it’s a strategy you could consider, speak with your company’s accountants and/or tax-preparers.
  • They dismantle the equipment they no longer need, remove components that contain precious metals like platinum and silver or other valuable components, and either recycle or sell them.

The Smartest Strategy: Picking the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company

If you’re not sure where precious metals like gold might be found in your used testing equipment, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to discuss what you have on hand. For more than 30 years, we have been paying testing companies large sums of money for recyclable precious metals that were hidden in their testing equipment – in components like thermocouple wire, electrodes, tubing, computer consoles, and even smaller items like platinum alloy bearing laboratory tongs and mesh screens. One call to us could be all that’s needed to keep precious metals – and dollars – from slipping through your fingers.