How can I reuse or recycle old x-rays?

(I’m still “enjoying” the flu so apologies if I’m even less regular at posting/replying to email than usual and/or more vague/rambling when I do write.)

Estelle has sent us an email about x-rays:

I have got a pile of x-rays harking back to my childhood. They are those large ones, white on black, which probably contain silver. Nowadays, they just give you them on CDs.

What can I do with these x-rays? I want to ditch them.

Because of the silver, there are a lot of places that collect old x-rays for recycling – but many are only geared up for large quantities of the stuff (and certainly only start paying for them for very large quantities) from hospitals and the like because the amount of silver in each film is negligible. Does anyone know of any companies/organisations that collect small quantities for recycling? Ideally with local collection points or by post.

Aside from that, I’d imagine it would be relatively easy to pass them on for someone to reuse for artistic or craft purposes. (You may want to remove any personal identification marks first.) There are quite a few for sale on eBay (in the Collectables/Scientific section mostly) but if you didn’t want to get into that, you could give them away locally on Freecycle or Gumtree/Craig’s List.

Anyone got any specific suggestions for things to make/do with them?

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17 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old x-rays?”

  1. Alice says:

    My mum used an x ray of her foot as a lampshade for ages – it looked great!

  2. Melinda says:

    I’ve seen science teachers tape them on the windows when teaching anatomy/ bone structure. Very effective!

  3. carol says:

    SAve them, one day a they will be antique! Or, maybe a school would like them for their science class.

  4. Aaron Grissom says:

    If you don’t want them, mail them to me! I could certainly put them to good use.

  5. Michele says:

    My dad worked for many years at a major hospital, they would take old, unusable xray film (looks just like an xray only all black) and cut them into bat shapes, put little paper eyes on them and hang them up all over as Halloween decorations. I bet you could do something similar with an old xray :)

  6. Jeff Prater says:

    If you have extra xrays I would be glad to take them off your hands. Im an artist focusing on the art of anatomy and medical illustration. Contact me. I will pay shipping. Contact me through above email. Thanks.

    • Anne says:

      We have 7 lbs of outdated assorted dog and cat radiographs that you are welcome to if you would be able pay shipping.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where are you situated I am in kemptn park and have a few I would like to get rid of
      Pam Marais
      011 975-4384

    • Sheila Buckfield says:

      Do you still want to receive the old fashioned x-rays, have been clearing out & have a couple they are over 10 yrs+ old.

  7. Jeff Prater says:

    Sorry. For the above message my email is Thanks again

  8. Anon says:

    I know a karate studio that uses them as targets for the kids to hit and kick. Maybe you can donate them to a local martial arts studio.

  9. You can call Environmental Media Solutions on 0117941 5030. They recycle all types of recordable media such as video tape, film, audio tape and x-ray/mri film. they will send you boxes and even get the film collected.

    • Pam Marais says:

      Stephen I would be grateful if you could pick up old x rays
      Pam Marais
      011 975 4384

    • George says:

      I have quite a lot of old x-rays I would like to get rid of. please advise as if you pick up or your address.


      George Portelli


      • Rick Simmons says:

        I am an instructor for EMT and Paramedic programs here in the US. We are in search of any “hardcopy” X-rays we can get our hands on. If anyone has any they would like to get rid of, please let me know, as they would be invaluable while teaching!!

        Thank you!!

  10. Sheila Buckfield says:

    I have a couple of x-rays 1 from 2005 & 1 from 2010.
    Can you make use of them? but how can I ship them cheaply to the States?

  11. Catherine says:

    I’ve seen old x-rays used in an Occupational Health class, they cut them into pattern pieces for sewing projects for patients. That could be a local hospital :)

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