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Disposal of studio toxics


#1

I will be starting a new studio in a rural area on personal,
residential property and I do not want toxic waste dumped into the
sceptic tank of the house. What are my alternatives? Many thanks.


#2

Once your pickling acid is spent, instead of adding baking soda to
neutralize before dumping (which throws a lot of copper into the
sewer/septic system), try this. I save spent pickle in a large glass
jar until I have quite a lot of it. I save it for copper plating when
I want to add an interesting patina to silver or cover solder lines.
Once the solution is too weak and the copper no longer plates, I
dilute the solution with a lot of water. Then I take it out to my
garden to water my acid-loving plants (oak trees, rhododendrons,
azaleas, etc. - but no food/edible plants). The plants break down
the acid themselves and give back beautiful flowers in return.

A good, green use of spent pickle…

Jeni


#3
What are my alternatives? 

You can let things like pickle evaporate then dispose of the
resulting powder. I use a lot of acetone for dissolving the super
glue off my dop sticks and stones and also when stabilizing stone. I
let the acetone evaporate and dispose of the result which is a
minimal amount of dissolved glue.

I was curious about what environmental impact I may be causing
letting acetone evaporate so I did some research…

Environmental effects of Acetone from Wikipedia:

Acetone evaporates rapidly, even from water and soil. Once in the
atmosphere, it is degraded by UV light with a 22-day half-life.
Acetone dissipates slowly in soil, animals, or waterways since it
is sometimes consumed by microorganisms; however, it is a
significant issue with respect to groundwater contamination due
to its high solubility in water. The LD50 of acetone for fish is
8.3 g/l of water (or about 0.8%) over 96 hours, and its
environmental half-life is about 1 to 10 days. Acetone may pose a
significant risk of oxygen depletion in aquatic systems due to
the microbial activity consuming it. 

So it looks like it’s better to let it evaporate rather than dumping
it down the sewer or on the ground.

More toxic chemicals should be taken to a waste disposal facility.
Check with your county government. I was surprised when I found out
how many toxic substances my county will take. Of course if you are a
commercial enterprise the county may refer you to a commercial waste
management company or charge you for processing your toxic waste.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com


#4

Depends on the type of toxic material- a sludge trap will catch the
solids and passing the fluids over iron wool and charcoal will sort
out most water soluble toxics. Try looking for the trap etc via a
decent professional photographic suppliers.

Nick


#5

NEUTRALISATION! First find out what you have that is toxic, and
neutralise it - soda crystals or baking soda for pickle, and most
other acids, containers that chemicals come in should be disposed of
in accordance with the manufacturers data and more common sense than
wrapping it in newsprint and throwing out- if you have recycling
recycle the stuff at a toxics waste recycler- it may cost you a
small amount but better than it ending up in someones groundwatrer.

If you are processing ores you may have lead, vanadium, and other
by-products- finding a source thta you can sell them to is the best
way to get rid of these products if you are minning.If you pick up a
few nuggets now and then then refinning is as good as it gets on a
small scale- using nitric acid to dissolve the bad elements out is
as good as that gets…Aqua Regia will accomplish it, then neutralize
the Aqua regia before disposing of it. I lived in the mountains off
the grid for over 25 years, with all solar and hydro power and
gravity spring water. I built a clay lined and raku fired pit to
contain any stuff I didn’t want leaching out into the soil then
sealed that fired clay with gunnite and tooped it with a hinged iron
lid lind with a phenolytic cap that was a take out from a 55 gallon
drum that held chemicls for import so it was chemical resistant and
air tight and clamped down securely- you can buy those type liners
and large caps from Berlin packaging company and a number of other
sources. Or you can buy the chemical resistant material and make your
own container lid. Burning off the plastics waste to first reduce it
to its smallest and least toxic remmnents, and then sealing off what
remains is ther best yuou can do with packaging and used containers
no one else will recycle or allow into waste dumps.

I treated some things with a bath of slaked lime, and others with
soda or bicarbonate of soda crystals and water while warm to reduce
any liquid to steam that passed through a crude filtration system of
charcoal, silver mesh and silica gel-( you can find ideas for making
filtration systems and waste disposal projects on MAKE.com’s DIY
pages or in their videos- but you have to think about them from a
reasonably scientific standpoint and what seems truest to your
situation and, some are litteraly jokes and do not work whatsoever)
so there wasn’t standing liquid in the pit. In the end of the pit’s
usefulness I sealed it over with a concrete cap or plaster and
concrete cap (i had two pits, the one that contained leaded elements
got the treated concrete, the one with reduced plastics and other
shop wastes that weren’t sent to refiners got clay fused plaster and
none has ever leaked- even when there was a rather strong earthquake
about 8 or so years ago (5.6 on the richter scale in the US southern
highlands in North Carolina).

Bottom line is to identify what you have and do your homework on ways
to neutralise it, destroy it and otherwise eliminate it from any food
chains, groundwater contamination or other methods that continue to
keep the elements in the cycle of disposal- and end it where you are.
I applaud your question as it is rare that anyone asks what to do
with toxic things on Orchid, and while most operations except cyanide
bobming have been eliminated by the art jewelry commnuitty in the US
it still goes on in other areas in the jewelry world,and in the world
and jewelry making is still a highly contaminating industry. In a
site
on which I am a paid jewelry making advisor, I get questions about
hazardous materials almost daily and from companies that are
promoting or at least participating in their use to date- I can only
recommend other methods of production and disposal whether it is
implemented usually boils down to the least cost to those
manufacturers regardless of their facilities health or the health
and safety of their employees. Doing what one can to try and stop it
where you are is a noble thing by any standards. rer


#6

Jen,

Once your pickling acid is spent, instead of adding baking soda to
neutralize before dumping (which throws a lot of copper into the
sewer/septic system), try this. I save spent pickle in a large
glass jar until I have quite a lot of it. I save it for copper
plating when I want to add an interesting patina to silver or cover
solder lines. Once the solution is too weak and the copper no
longer plates, I dilute the solution with a lot of water. Then I
take it out to my garden to water my acid-loving plants (oak trees,
rhododendrons, azaleas, etc. - but no food/edible plants). The
plants break down the acid themselves and give back beautiful
flowers in return. 

Love the idea! I am a gardner and never thought of putting the spent
pickle on my plants.

Thanks for the tip! Debbie


#7

hi jen,

copper kills plants. that is why mariners use copper paint on the
bottoms of vessels to keep plants and animals off. also copper
sulfate is very good at killing algal plants in fountains.

john


#8
copper kills plants. that is why mariners use copper paint on the
bottoms of vessels to keep plants and animals off. also copper
sulfate is very good at killing algal plants in fountains. 

John, while it’s true that copper in large amounts are used as an
algaecide (we used to dump it annually in a pond), or in huge
amounts to kill unwanted plants, the small, diluted amounts left
after plating have no effect. Small amounts of copper salts are sold
in greenhouses/garden centers to spray on to keep mildew from
attacking roses and other fungal-prone plants, but they never reach
the levels needed to kill the plant itself. Adding this weak acid to
the garden is a very safe and effective way of getting lots of
blooms!

Thanks for the tidbit on mariner’s copper paint, though - that’s
pretty smart!

Happy Gardening,
Jeni


#9

This is an overstatement. Bad environmental effects from copper
depend on a few things. Mass, concentration and where do you live.
Copper is essential for plant growth. In reasonable low
concentrations and small quantities it is not really harmful but can
be desirable. In really high concentrations in very large quantities
it is harmful to freshwater aquatic life. These are not the normal
things a normal reader would need to be concerned with. Copper
sulfate is regularly used in recommended quantities to control root
growth in septic systems. it is also routinely added to soil to green
up conifers. Blue spruce requires it for the blue color. Shellfish
require copper for their existence-- their blood uses copper not
iron to handle oxygen. East coast coastal areas ( Carolina coast +)
are generally deficient in copper, and crops suffer.

As I think you may be in the Puget Sound area Google : copper
deficiency Washington state This area is deficient in copper in the
soil. Livestock and crops suffer a deficiency.

if so dilute it and put it on the soil - unless you are running a
copper based industry -then talk to your local EPA. They probably
already know you if you have a problem. Talk to your agricultural
state or county agent if you insist.

jesse


#10

so after a sparked intrest from this thread & googling for acid waste
disposal the onl company i found to accept acid and metal soloution
waste was in Australia. none that i could find here in the USA he
whole acid waste disposal thing seems rather on the honor system.
does anyone actually know the name of a company that accepts acid
waste and copper nitrate? goo


#11

Gustavo, Here in Portland, Oregon, we have a number of places that
will take all and any kinds of hazardous materials. In fact, several
times in the year, we can take them to a nearby place for them to be
picked up, which saves having to drive clear across town to the
hazardous waste disposal places. I have a Portland address,but live
somewhat out of town, so such pick up makes things more convenient. I
believe several of the places may be run by the city or the county,
as they are called “Metro,” Either that, or they have a government
franchise.

Also, I know that they crack down regularly on businesses not
disposing of hazardous waste properly. The last one to make the
headlines here was a company that did plating. The agency in charge
of such things shut them down and socked them with a really hefty
fine for clean up.

Alma Rands


#12
copper kills plants. that is why mariners use copper paint on the
bottoms of vessels to keep plants and animals off. 

I could be wrong about this, but I believe that the reason boats
sometimes have copper on the hulls is that it sets up an electrical
current at the surface in interaction with the seawater, and it is
the current that deters barnacles, not toxicity of copper.

Noel


#13
I could be wrong about this, but I believe that the reason boats
sometimes have copper on the hulls is that it sets up an
electrical current at the surface in interaction with the seawater,
and it is the current that deters barnacles, not toxicity of
copper. 

Au Contraire Noel,

copper sulfate, and other copper salts are a commonly used virus
preventative on plants that are susceptible to blackspot- fungus and
molds. For instance: tomatoes, roses, any solanacea members that are
desirable (eggplants peppers, etc. as opposed to ground cherries and
pest nightshades). Dilute pickle is a great reuse and disposal method
of the stuff once quite blue.

Heavy concentrations of copper sulphates are also used to treat wood
against rot (with an overcoat of a thick formula of water glass and
borax in fact!- the borax will help prevent termite damage). After
Katrina I published an article for citizens of New Orleans on using
Copper Sulphate ( the mixture turns wood and everything else black in
the proper concentration) first to kill any viruses and molds that
dared to live before spraying on the stuff and then a brushed on
application of “boracare” (a proprietary product that prevents
termite damage and was easier than listing how-to for a mass
population with exposed wood framing on damaged houses).

the person that used pickle was right on in recommending it as a
disposal method. If you have fungal infections on plants put it in a
spray tank add half as much water as pickle and spray on in early
morning or late afternoon, so the plants are not in full sun when
applying it, and have plenty of time to dry before the sun sets (or
you will encourage mold on any plant)…if you have frogs in the
garden cover them with a piece of terra cotta pot before applying and
if you have other aquatic life avoid cotaminating the pond, etc. with
the overspray…If you are building any new construction out of wood
applying a borax coating to it will help prevent termite infestations
for years if you mix the borax or boric acid with water glass first.
and if you treat with copper sulphate or novalsan (it is a great
brand available as barn and stall wash too) first you are doing
yourself a favour in preventing black mold for at least 20 years when
applied correctly. rer


#14
If you are building any new construction out of wood applying a
borax coating to it will help prevent termite infestations for years
if you mix the borax or boric acid with water glass first. 

What is the purpose of ‘water glass’ in lapidary? Or is there one?
KPK


#15
What is the purpose of 'water glass' in lapidary? Or is there one? 

Water glass is used to stabilize crumbly rocks or mineral specimens.
If the standard water glass recipe is used it doesn’t work so well
because it is water soluble and any stabilization gained by using it
will be lost in the cutting and polishing using water as coolant.
There is a recipe that uses Emergen-C has to act as a polymer and
makes the “water glass”, “waterproof”. If that makes sense…

Here’s a link to the Emergen-C water glass recipe:

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com


#16
What is the purpose of 'water glass' in lapidary? Or is there one? 

It’s one of the “old school” ways to stabilize chatoyant and other
"phenomenal" stones for cutting and polishing. Certain stones of this
type have a fibrous structure and a soak in a sodium silicate
solution keeps cutting lubricant and polishing sludge from
infiltrating the fiber structure.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL