600 km for 6 litres

Some time ago my C-41 kit started showing the signs of exhaustion, and I ordered a new one.

While the package was on its way I had a problem to solve: getting rid of the old chemicals.

If you search online for advice on how to recycle photo chemistry, the answers range from “just dump it into the drain” to more reasonable “take it to a special place”. The first type of answers is definitely unacceptable but the second one exposed another problem for me. I don’t have any special place around.

Then I thought hey, there is a lab at work, they definitely have to recycle their chemicals! So I asked at the lab. Turned out their chemistry was organic and mine is not (or the other way around) and I couldn’t use them to get rid of my stuff.

Then I started inquiring about any place that recycles my kind of chemistry and was told there is a factory somewhat 300 km away from me that should do it. Suddenly a seemingly simple task of recycling photo chemicals turned into an Odyssey.

Practically, driving 600 km just to try to get rid of my 6 litres doesn’t make any sense, and honestly, for a moment I just thought of dumping the whole thing. In theory though, if I wait for my next kit to go, I will have a bit more significant amount to deal with and maybe then I’ll try.

Anyway, I’ve put those litres away for now but the whole story made me think about my own environmental impact from photography. I’ll write another time about it.

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