Top Tips for Pollution Prevention for Printers
The following ideas have been used in print shops around the state to prevent pollution.
- Try to use press washes without listed solvents, and with the lowest VOC content possible.
- Conserve press wash by dedicating a press to just one color on specific days. This can save labor,
solutions, and ink.
- Consider changing to an alcohol-free fountain solution, or reduce the concentration or quantity of
- Don't evaporate ink cleanup trays. Put cleanup sludges into a container with a tight lid and dispose of
as hazardous waste. Don't dispose of cleanup sludges in the garbage or in containers of soiled towels.
- Consider switching to vegetable oil-based inks; use inks without heavy metals.
- Buy only as much ink as needed for the near future. Use older inks first.
- When storing cans of ink that have been opened, cover the ink surface with waxed paper, lids, or other
covers to reduce skinning and to maintain ink quality.
- To reduce waste, use a laundry service with cloth towels. If you use disposable towels with hazardous
solvents, dispose of them as hazardous waste.
- Squeeze excess solvent out of used towels. Collect and reuse the liquid for initial cleanup, followed
by clean solvent for final cleanup. After final use, cleanup sludges should be disposed of as hazardous
- Be sure your used fixer is properly treated, either by adequate on-site silver recovery or off-site
treatment. If you use on-site recovery units, be sure to properly operate and maintain them. Also be sure
your discharge is meeting local and state limits for silver.
- Never put used fixer down the drain
- Use two-sided plates and aqueous plates where possible; recycle plates.
- Never dump cyanide developing solutions from electrostatic plates down the drain.
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