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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It’s Time to Cash in on Silver from Dental Practices that Are Closing

It’s Time to Cash in on Silver from Dental Practices that Are Closing

We have noticed that it is relatively difficult to find scrap gold in dentists’ offices that are closing, probably because those dentists are savvy enough to capture and sell gold items, not sell them at bargain prices. Silver, however, is another matter. Where can you find silver to buy, and then recycle using a qualified precious metals recycler like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners?

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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.

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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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New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
Demand for Precious Metals Increases with Widespread Healthcare Changes
Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal
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