Airstud
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

Are old Polaroid pics "hazardous waste?"

Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:03 pm

Going through old boxes of household crappicus and am ready to toss a bunch of irrelevant snapshots from pre-digital days.

I faintly recall hearing one day that they contain chemicals that you "can't" just chuck into your household trash (yeah I know, who's gonna stop you)

As someone who strives for an A+ environmental rating, should I be seeking a more condign way to dispose of these? (The non-Polaroids too?) Or is it perfectly green to just go ahead and chuck them?
Pancakes are delicious.
 
photopilot
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

Re: Are old Polaroid pics "hazardous waste?"

Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:45 pm

Well the conventional polaroid photos would have had any chemical residue contained on the part of the tear-apart that was thrown away when the photo was taken.
On the other hand, the SX-70 type polaroids were completely sealed and had a chemical pouch on one end of the photo that was squeezed between layers when the print ejected from the camera. You used to be able to hold it and watch it develop right in front of you. Those types of polaroids would still have some sort of dried chemicals contained in the pouch.
Personally, I'd just throw them in the trash because there would be no appreciable way to now separate the components.
 
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Erebus
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:40 am

Re: Are old Polaroid pics "hazardous waste?"

Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:17 pm

While I do not know what compounds are present in the polaroid films, I do know that silver compounds are a typical choice for photographic films. Silver, like many other heavy metal ions including mercury products, can be toxic to living stuff in high concentrations. This is the best I can come up with...

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