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Policy: VII.A.10x (inactive)

Issued: February 14, 1992

Owner: Procurement Services

Latest Revision:



For Current Policies:
Policy Table of Contents


1.0 Purpose

Contained within this section are the University's Policies on silver recovery. The University has contracted with a vendor to service the recovery process. The process involves: (1) recovering silver chip from film fixer solution, and (2) selling archival film.

2.0 Policy [Top]

2.1 Summary

All University areas producing silver solutions must have a recovery unit or dispose of untreated fixer through the Environmental Health and Safety Office. Areas within the Hospital must have a recovery unit or have silver reclaimed by the Radiology Department. Untreated silver solution (or other heavy metals in significant concentrations) should not be drained into the sewage system. Departments should coordinate with the Environmental Health and Safety Office before disposing of solutions containing metals other than silver.

Individual departments are not authorized to engage in silver recovery or refinement and must deal with the University-selected vendor.

The vendor will recover silver from used fixer solution and scrap film. The vendor will provide a fair return on the recovered silver, a reasonable maintenance schedule for silver recovery units owned by the University, and a program for the installation and maintenance of silver recovery units provided by the vendor.

All recovery units will be locked at all times; this will be the responsibility of the University or Hospital administrative official where the recovery unit is located.

All silver recovery units will be assigned unique numbers to help Procurement Services' Surplus Property Section maintain records on the performance of and recoveries from each unit.

Silver pick-ups will be scheduled in advance with the University to prevent silver price manipulation. Pickups will be on a monthly basis.

2.2 Recovery Process

The vendor ensures all silver recovery units currently in use are operating efficiently. Areas not currently using a silver recovery device will be provided one by the vendor should the volume of used fixer warrant.

Those areas not having a large enough volume of used fixer to justify a silver recovery unit should coordinate disposal and recovery of the silver with Radiology or Environmental Health and Safety, as applicable.

Purchasing will retain the security keys for the recovery units and will ensure that the Surplus Property Manager is present whenever silver is picked up by the vendor. DEPARTMENTS SHOULD ALSO PROVIDE REPRESENTATIVES TO SUPERVISE THE REMOVAL PROCESS.

As silver is removed from a recovery unit, the vendor will record the weight of the silver removed and the number of the recovery unit. When the vendor returns the silver recovery proceeds to the University, an attachment will be provided showing the silver removed from each unit as a percentage of all silver recovered on that pickup and as a percentage of the total dollar return. This information is required to properly credit departments for recovered silver.

All checks received from the vendor will be made payable to the University of Virginia and sent directly to the Bursar's Office for state and local accounts (ledgers 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 8) or to Patient Financial Services for Medical Center accounts (ledger 2). The vendor will provide the Surplus Property Section with a copy of all transactions. The Bursar or Cashiering Supervisor, Patient Financial Services, will deposit the check and provide the Surplus Property Section with a copy of the check and deposit form, so complete records are maintained.

Funds received from the sale of silver or x-ray film will be deposited to an account of the entity of the University or Hospital initially paying for the supplies. An exception is Environmental Health and Safety which receives fixer from many sources. Environmental Health and Safety will return all recovered dollars to the research community through the Research Policy Council. The Bursar will deposit into departmental accounts all funds received from the sale of silver or film purchased with state, grant, and auxiliary funds, as so advised.

The Surplus Property Section will retain all records of the sale of silver or solutions containing silver, (ounces recovered, refining expenditures, refined ounces, price per ounce, total recovered dollars, etc.), will quarterly review those records, and will provide a quarterly report to the Director of Procurement Services, with copies to the Audit Department. The Surplus Property Section will have ultimate responsibility for the program, and will coordinate closely with both Environmental Health and Safety and Radiology.

2.3 Sale of Archival Film

Archival film will be sold periodically by Procurement Services with a separate bid process.

2.4 Audit Review

The Audit Department will periodically review records associated with the silver recovery program.

3.0 Definitions [Top]

4.0 References [Top]

5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]

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