Re: dichromate disposal

Andy Schmitt

Thank You Christina...I was hoping an expert would weigh in on this. ( no offence meant all)


Andy Schmitt PPA

Head of The New & Improved Photography Dept,
Peters Valley School of Craft

-----Original Message-----
From: Alt-photo-process-list [mailto:alt-photo-process-list-bounces@...] On Behalf Of Christina Anderson
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 9:20 AM
To: alt-photo-process-list@...
Subject: Re: [Alt-photo] dichromate disposal

In item of full disclosure: at my home, and I am well water, I dispose of dichromate down the drain. I use it at a 10-15% dilution and figure I am releasing grams into the drain.

At school I HAVE to dispose of it via Risk and Safety. I have 16 people in the class, 8 individual labs of 2 students each, and each has a dichromate tray that is filled with water and never gets emptied or cleaned throughout the time. At the end of the semester all those trays get dumped into a container that gets neutralized at Risk and Safety. By that time the dichromate water is deep orange/black/grungy, but it does not affect the print.

I am COMPLETELY with Diana on this. When, I think it was either Judy or Dick Sullivan who mentioned that the limit for dichromate into the environment for a business in CA was like 2 lb per DAY I thought our worries were ridiculous. I do not feel the least bit bad about disposing of a gram or two into my well. When I consider that a tricolor only has 0.5g dichromate in it per tricolor, and some of that gets reduced in the print, it's not a big deal.

Also, the water evaporation method is not one to practice with pets or animals around that might bathe in it or drink it.

Christina Z. Anderson

On Mar 18, 2014, at 3:59 AM, Laura V wrote:

I was under the impression (I read somewhere) that the amount of dichromate we use in gum printing was negligible and (full disclosure) I've just been pouring my developing water down the drain and washing my brushes out in the sink. Now I've read in Christina's book that she recommends evaporating the water and saving the sludge for safe disposal, or saving all the water. Then came Travis's thread about finding a safer alternative and I'm starting to think I'm a horrible person :(

I can't let my water evaporate as I use a shared working space (I'm the only alt photo printer) and saving all the water every day from my large trays seems difficult. I've read about neutralizing the dichromate using various substances like spent photo fixer, but I need this explained to me like I'm 10 years old. Any suggestions?

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