Bankrupt Solar Company to Bury Unused Solar Panels in Cement

Solar panels as hazardous waste.

“Colorado-based Abound Solar has been ordered to remove and bury in cement thousands of leftover solar panels ‘deemed unsellable’ by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The company must also clean up other hazardous waste at a number of facilities statewide, according to the Northern Colorado Business Report (NCBR).”


7 thoughts on “Bankrupt Solar Company to Bury Unused Solar Panels in Cement”

  1. They mentioned cadmium, so it was >1 ppm (mg/L) by TCLP. Ben, it also sounded like they weren’t too used to waste disposal of anything.

  2. No, electronic waste just has to be treated as hazardous. It’s no big deal. However, it’s not profitable to recycle this sometimes, and solar panel companies apparently aren’t used to the cradle-to-grave requirements, so they are complaining about it (note: hazardous waste generally does not get land-filled if it can be avoided because if the landfill ever has problems, the people who put waste in it are responsible for eternity. Most is incinerated or otherwise destroyed).

    Nuclear fuel and radioactives have special kinds of hazardous waste landfills, typically out in the middle of nowhere desert. It’s notoriously hard to dispose of anything radioactive, even if the Geiger count is too low to carry a hazardous waste code.

  3. Supposedly the panels are “unsellable” because they don’t work. But they still have the cadmium and other rare earths in them. Why can’t they be recycled? When the “good” solar panels finally break (hail, mischief, meteorites, whatever,) will we have to store them with the used nuclear fuel?

  4. I am not a journalist or a Scientist but I do believe cement is a powder, combined with water and aggregate to make concrete. I think the reported plan to bury the products will have more success if concrete is used, not cement. Perhaps this may explain why the business had difficulties. Also why the government does not work well, lack of basic knowledge! Plenty of “can do” equals can’t.

  5. Why such a haste? There must be a way to salvage them. Cut them in circles, glue some felt on one side, and they will make for really hip mug coasters.

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