Can You Recycle Xrays? ♻️: One thing I consider as important as waste management is our own health. We pay a painstakingly huge amount of money to keep ourselves in tiptop shape. And if worse comes to worst and we sustain an injury, there are many ways to deal with it. But how do doctors diagnose an injury beforehand? Well… the answer is simple! If you have, let us say a suspected broken bone, the attending doctor will take an Xray of that to see what is truly going on inside of your body.

As a result, he/she can treat you using the correct methods! You may or may have Xrays cluttered in your home belonging to different members of the family and want to dispose of them; is it possible? And where can you send them? Read on to learn more.

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A bit about Waster

Before I discuss how we can recycle Xrays, let me share with you more information about Waster.

We here at Waster provide you with innovative solutions for your and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. Furthermore, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves to be better.

Click on the blue button to learn more.

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READ: How To Recycle Water 💧


Yes, please recycle your Xrays!

Whether you are a doctor, dentist, health professional, or just a random working or non-working citizen, you need not throw your old Xray films in the trash. If you have Xray films cluttered in your homes or in your offices, then I have good news for you. Xrays are pretty much recyclable. They contain silver – a valuable metal – in the form of halides.

Recycling them should be one of your topmost priorities because not only does it help the environment, but in the medical profession, the laws there require Xrays to be properly disposed of – i.e., a form of document destruction. That is in a patient’s best interest because it protects their privacy.


How is the silver extracted?

Xrays are a special case; though it is similar to a light wave, it differs in certain characteristics. Additionally, you cannot see them with the naked eye. For us to see Xrays, an Xray machine must be used. The machine passes Xrays through our body onto a plastic film with a special gel. And that gel is made of silver; it is very sensitive to light. Basically, when the Xrays hit the film, it causes a molecular change to the silver gel. As a result, an image is finally created.

You cannot see them with the naked eye; you have to process them almost the same way you process a film camera. Read our blog on photo recyclability to know the process.

Recyclers usually do these when extracting silver from Xray films:

  • First, the Xray films are processed in a refinery in order to extract the contained silver.
  • Second, they heat the Xray films using temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Celcius.
  • Up next, by this time, they have now recycled the Xray film and extracted the pure silver form contained.


What is the extracted silver used for?

The extracted silver when you recycle Xray films is reused mainly for creating news jewellery, electrical components, and utensils such as silver spoons and forks.


Should we recycle all Xrays?

Granted that we could recycle our old Xray films, do we really need to? Of course, it can be very beneficial to the environment, but is there a reason not to recycle it? One blog I read from The Organised Housewife made a good point in determining whether or not you should recycle your Xray films: dispose of and recycle the ones you do not need.

You have to check with your doctor first on which Xray films you should keep and which Xray films should you dispose of and recycle. There may be some Xrays you should keep either for health or legal purposes. Additionally, your doctors may even offer to take and recycle them for you, saving you all the trouble.


Where can we recycle Xrays?

As opposed to other recyclables, you cannot put your Xrays on the recycling bin. What you have to do is to look for drop-off locations or mailing them off. Recycling Near You, a site hosted by Planet Ark, provides you with many options for your recyclables. In this case, there are two options provided by Recycling Near You that you can choose from in Australia, namely Siltech and Ecocycle.

Posted by the NSW Department of Planning and Development, Siltech provides us with many different drop-off collection points throughout Australia. Furthermore, they can collect, recycle and even destroy documents (i.e., destroy data on Xray films to avoid unauthorised use). Ecocycle, much like Siltech, provides different kinds of businesses like hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities a way to dispose of their unneeded Xray films.

Here’s where you can send them after arranging an Xray collection for recycling by phone:

Unit 7/220 Barry Road
Campbellfield VIC 3061
Phone: 03 9357 9513
Email: [email protected]


Other things we can do with our Xrays

Aside from trying to recycle them, there are many other alternatives you can do with your Xray films. In this section, I will enumerate some other options you can do to properly “dispose of” your cluttered Xray films at home.


  • Donate them – many schools are in need of visual materials for their students. Contact a university or the like that would gladly take you Xray film. But keep in mind that you should remove any important, personal information present on your Xray to avoid leaking it out to anyone. One might think to use your important information without your knowledge, so be careful.


  • Turn them into art – let your creativity take over and turn your flimsy Xrays into something aesthetically pleasing. You can search for art ideas on various websites like Pinterest. An example would be a lampshade made from Xray films. Furthermore, other examples of Xray art include folding screens and even an umbrella! Talk about getting creative!


Again, can you recycle Xrays? Waster’s final thoughts

You can pretty much recycle Xrays. Just make sure that you remove your private information etched on your Xray films. And if you are wondering where you should recycle Xrays, you can find it on many reliable websites. Additionally, you can also ask your local council for more guidance and information.


Waster: things you need to know

If you’re looking for recycling bins, check our waste recycling shop and find the best deals in terms of pricing and services.

Also, please call 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837), or email us at [email protected] if you have any further questions.


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