Installing solar is great for the environment but what happens to the solar equipment like panels, inverters and batteries, when they get damaged, stop working effectively or are at the end of their life? We can’t (and should not) just throw them in the bin for them to end up in landfill.
Solar panels and equipment that have not been disposed of properly can produce soil and ground water leachates which can potentially harm the environment. By recycling this equipment, we can extend the life of existing landfills and reduce their environmental impact.
Materials recovered in the recycling process such as glass, copper, plastic, aluminium and silver can be reused in local manufacturing, supporting industries, promoting circular economies and decreasing our reliance on new materials.
Governments, Councils and waste management facilities are catching on to the rapidly increasing volume of waste being generated by the sector and as such, may are beginning to take action.
In July 2020, the Victorian Government brought into effect a ban on e-waste products from entering landfill, which includes solar panels. Moreover, waste facilities around Australia are starting to turn away solar equipment waste.
Recognising the need for action, Echo Group have partnered with E3Sixty Solar to recycle old, damaged and faulty solar panels, as well as other equipment used, from our projects around Australia.
E3Sixty Solar is a new joint venture between PV Industries (solar panel recycling), ReSource (battery recycling) and E3Sixty (e-waste recovery). E3Sixty Solar combines an agile start-up culture reinforced by over 25 years of recycling and product stewardship experience. PV Industries has been leading solar panel recycling in Australia with the goal of stopping solar panel waste from entering landfill. The joint venture brings together valuable experience in collection, logistics and the recycling of complicated consumer products.
As an environmentally conscious organisation with a goal of putting solar on every rooftop in Australia to reduce global carbon emissions, Echo Group is thrilled to be one of the first national solar companies to partner with E3Sixty Solar.
With national solar uptake increasing year on year, it is safe to say that when the panels need replacing, it is more important than ever to dispose of them in an economically and environmentally conscious, sustainable manner.