Hello, I have several old x-rays that have been deemed trash and I have been left in charge of destroying/recycling them. I’ve been told that you can melt them down and get silver from them. Is this true? Who would I need to talk to about having this done? Thank you! From Kevin in Charleston, West Virginia

Hi Kevin,

X-ray film does contain silver that can be extracted by precious metal refiners like Arch Enterprises, but each individual X-ray contains a very small amount of silver, so even sending a few pounds of film is typically not worth the shipping cost. To make refining X-ray film worthwhile, one typically needs at least 300-400 pounds of X-ray film.

Refining X-ray film is not a simple process. The melting process utilizes refining equipment that will withstand very high heats for extracting the silver from the other components of the X-ray film. Additionally, if you are dealing with medical information, we typically need to follow HIPAA compliant guidelines during the refining process.

We would recommend taking all film out of any paper jackets and storing in large 500 gallon drums. If you have more than a couple drums then it would be worth the shipping costs to refine this material.