How to best dispose of your unwanted X-rays

Community life - 4 September 2018

Did you know that your old, unwanted X-ray films can be safely recycled free of charge by bringing them into Kempsey Shire Council?

An X-ray bin is located in the entrance of Council’s Customer Service Centre in West Kempsey. The bin is collected every six to 12 months by Siltech - a company who specialise in the treatment and disposal of film processing waste and the recovery of silver.

X-rays are coated with a substance that contains silver and if disposed of in the council collection bin, Siltech extracts the substance and converts it into a purer form of silver. The silver can then be used for items such as jewellery and electrical components.

Council’s Waste Coordinator, Gavin Hughes, said the free disposal service helps reduce how much our community pays in state waste levy fees by keeping the X-ray films out of our local landfill.

“I strongly encourage residents to drop in their unwanted films so that they can be reutilised. We ask that residents take the films out of the paper envelopes and place the films into the x-ray bin and the envelopes into the yellow recycling bin,” he said.

“If old x-ray films are placed in the red bin then they will unfortunately end up in the local landfill and that is what we want to try and avoid.”   

The last collection of Council’s bin took place in March 2018 and resulted in the collection of 125kgs of X-ray films. Since the free service was introduced at Council in 2014, a total volume of 521kgs has been collected.

Residents who have privacy concerns are reminded to remove any personal information prior to disposing of their old X-rays.

For more information on the service, phone Council’s Customer Service Centre on 6566 3200

Gavin Hughes at council's X-ray binCouncil’s Waste Coordinator, Gavin Hughes, at council’s free X-ray bin disposal