US Start-up Achieves 99% Recovery from Retired Solar Panels

By: | January 3rd, 2024

Photo by Chelsea on Unsplash

Millions of solar panels have been installed worldwide, with estimates suggesting that there are over 800 million panels in operation. Despite being hailed globally for reducing carbon emissions, these panels become redundant after around 30 years of use.

Projections indicate that by 2030, up to 8 million tons of solar modules might inundate landfills worldwide. Addressing this challenge is essential to prevent the accumulation of solar panels from turning into an environmental waste mountain.

A new lease of life to old and out-of-service solar panels

Arizona-based We Recycle Solar, strives to present customers with a more environmentally friendly alternative to discarding solar panels. Through partnerships with multiple solar panel manufacturers, contractors, and utility companies, the startup actively acquires older solar panels by offering monetary incentives.

Urban Mining!

The recycling process, termed “urban mining” by We Recycle Solar, involves the extraction of valuable materials such as silver, copper, aluminum, glass, and silicone from discarded solar panels.

According to information available on its website, the startup proudly states significant achievements in this endeavor. To date, they have successfully recovered 495 tons of aluminum, 147 tons of copper, as well as an impressive 10,000 tons of glass, all of which have been reintroduced into the manufacturing cycle.

In Yuma, Arizona, the startup processes 7,500 panels daily, recovering 99% of materials to fuel a circular economy.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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