Recycling is a means by which the pressure on national resources is eased through lessening waste and transforming it to something that can be used again. Rising demand on silver coupled with decreasing supply make it imperative that silver is recycled.
Common generators of silver-containing waste include the graphic arts, photo finishing, and metal plating industries, as well as industrial and medical X-ray users.
Recycled silver is useful in many industries today. Recycled silver can come from a variety of sources, some of which are photographic materials, silver jewelry, coinage (no longer in circulation) and other industrial waste. The silver content from these sources is extracted and is recycled through different processes so as to produce usable silver. Once recycled silver is produced, it is introduced to the market and form part of silver supply.
Photographic materials have a high silver content. Silver, which is the material responsible for producing the photographic image, is found in a number of different materials in facilities that process photographic materials. The leading sources of silver for recycling are photographic films, processing solutions, and papers. Another source of recycled silver is medical x-ray users. Recycled silver from photographic materials used to be majority of recycled silver supply, especially before digital imaging became popular.
Recycled silver can also be sourced from common household items such as cutlery, silverware, silver jewelry and silver coins no longer in circulation. If these silver items are no longer used in the household, or if they are more valuable when sold in the second hand market, it is time to dispose of them and at the same time earn extra cash. There are a lot of buyers who offer cash in exchange for silver-containing household items. These establishments also have the means to recover and recycle silver from silver-containing items.
Recycled silver is a good source of additional silver supply. Silver is a scarce natural resource and as industries demand more silver, recycling silver should be encouraged. Sources of recycled silver are abundant and sometimes considered as waste. By recycling silver-containing waste, we are also helping the environment. Another advantage of silver being recycled is the extra income earned by selling recyclable silver.