Film recycling is a big deal. Not only are there several different environmental toxins contained within, but the improper disposal of this material can really do damage to your environment. Film disposal is a federally regulated act as most x-rays and film contain silver. Silver is toxic to microorganisms which are the foundation of the natural food chain. It is very important to prevent silver film coatings from seeping into groundwater, streams or rivers to prevent toxins from contaminating fish and water supplies. For these reasons, film must be properly handled and disposed of to avoid any negative environmental impacts of its use and disposal.
Film recycling is an option for disposing of medical film in a way that both protects the information contained within and the environment at the same time. Happy Faces has been providing film recycling services for the medical industry for more than 20 years. Our process meets both EPA and HIPAA standards for disposal and management of these sensitive documents.
If you are looking for a way to make an impact in your community, make sure you start off by leaving it cleaner than you found it by investing in clean film recycling techniques. Here’s what it takes to get started.
- Separate paper from film and shred all PII from x-ray jackets.
- Grinders reduce film into particle flakes only a half-inch in size making the film unusable and the information contained within incomprehensible.
- The film particles are tested to measure silver content.
- Silver coatings are separated from film through a four stage process of chemical burns.
- The emulsified silver and other coatings are sent to settling tanks. Plastics are then cleaned and sent to recycling companies for reuse in clothing and packaging.
- The emulsion mixture is processed to allow the silver to precipitate and the water is then recycled.
- The remaining silver is roasted to ash and all traces of water and other impurities are removed.
- The ash is then smelted until the silver liquefies and cast into ingot molds to cool. The final product is then sent to silver refiners for further processing.
This highly detailed process ensures that the film is disposed of in a secure and environmentally friendly manner, while silver is recycled and sent out for reuse.
As you can see, film recycling is important but also a real investment for businesses to undertake on their own. But luckily, it’s opportunities just like these where partnering with a 3rd party expert proves to be the most cost-effective and productive business strategy. We know, we do it every day. For more tips on how to effectively manage film disposal, connect with a Happy Faces Records Management representative today.