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Disposal of electroplating solutions [Was: Shop Safety]


Questions on disposal of electroplating solutions.

Some of the other members will know how to dispose of the
exhausted electroplating solutions. In working with stones I
neutralize all the old acid solutions. When I get a five gallon
bucket almost full, I take it to a disposal site and pay a fee
for them to take it. They require that I list the contents. The
pickle from soldering I haven’t had to dump any yet since I use
maybe a quart in a year. Oxalic acid and muratic acids I take to
the dump once a month. Most of the other stuff I use is in such
small quantities that I haven’t had to dispose of it yet. Since I
don’t electroplate anything I haven’t had to deal with it yet.
The sludge from stone cutting most of the time gets added to the
compost pile along with the rabbit droppings, horse apples and
old hay. I grow the best tomatoes in town. Stuff with toxic
ingredients (heavy metals) gets added to the things taken to the
disposal site. Sweepings from the bench I haven’t had enough
yet but there is a dust buster bag that I will eventually have to
sell. Most of my work is in stones and I am only starting to
mount stuff on my own. The lapidary saws use water soluble
lubricants. I dump the water onto the compost heap. That adds the
silica and trace minerals back into the earth in a safe manner.
People who have large amounts of stuff to dispose of have to do
something else. Most of the stone (Quartz, tourmaline, garnet,
lapis lazuli, sodalite) occur within twenty miles of my home. The
one thing that I do cut and worry about is pyrrhotite, even
though it comes from a site about thirty miles away. It is a FeS
with nickel and cobalt in the mix also. That doesn’t get dumped
into the pile but is added to the stuff to take to the disposal
site. I love the stone ,dark black matrix with brassy threads
running through it, but I do a batch and clean up immediately
with the sludge going in separate buckets along with the saw
lubricant. This is one that I definitely wear the dust mast with
when working with it. I wet grind and polish stone. Buffing the
settings also occurs while wearing a mask and shield. The
lubricant (type 4800)that I have been using I have not been able
to detect any odor with. It is not like the old kerosene and oil
mixtures. Pella oil does have an odor and I use an organic vapor
mask when I am using it. I only use it any more when I am using
one of the very thin diamond blades. The type 4800 mixed 10 to 1
with the raytech blades has worked very well for me. I use the
same type 4800 mixed 20 to one with diamond grinding wheels (180
to 1200 grit) and have not seen any problems yet. (Any comments
from anyone else?) The spray shields on the saws clean right up
with warm water and I haven’t had any rust problems. I clean and
dry the equipment when I finish for the day. The large rock saw
since it will take several days to cut through the larger pieces
will be inspected regularly and cleaned when I finish a series of

Now, I have described what I have been doing. Any comments
suggestions or criticisms?

Ed Ward
Ward’s Stone Creations