Waste360 recently sat down with two industry veterans who will speak during a WasteExpo session on the circular economy.
Solar panels are very reliable and long-lasting investments that save consumers money and require little to no maintenance for 25-35 years. However, given the scale of deployment over the last 15-20 years, there is and will continue to be a growing demand for effective processes for removal, dismantling and recycling or reuse of solar panels at the end of their useful life. Solar panels are removed from operation either from degradation after decades of use, system upgrades, damage from extreme weather, remodeling, or damage during transit. To date, broken or unused solar panels were being stockpiled by solar contractors, dumped in hazardous waste landfills, or worse, illegally dumped. Up until 2021, solar panels were classified as Hazardous Waste by the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). In January of 2021, solar panels were reclassified as Universal Waste, making it easier and less expensive for waste management companies to haul and process solar panels for recycling.
In response to George Monbiot on natural capital, Tony Juniper argues nature is not an impediment to economic success, but an essential prerequisite for it…
Herriot-Watt University has announced the launch of a research project aiming to create new materials from residual waste leftover from recycling. The project involves a £250,000 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funded by Innovate UK and the Scottish Funding Council. Herriot-Watt will partner with Brewster Bros, a Livingston-based recycling business, with an aim of further developing Scotland’s approach to a circular economy. Part of the project will look at recycled clay which can account for up to 25 per cent of the output produced when excavation waste is recycled via a washing process. This by-product commonly ends up in landfill. Herriot-Watt confirmed that the project will also include the creation of a hazardous soil treatment centre, the first of its kind in Scotland.