EnviroServ can handle safe disposal of solar panel e-waste

EnviroServ can handle safe disposal of solar panel e-waste

2023 / 06 / 08

While solar panels are a convenient way to generate renewable energy, they contain hazardous chemicals which mean they cannot be disposed of with regular household waste when they reach their end of life.

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Discarded solar panels classify as hazardous e-waste and must be disposed of at appropriately licenced waste management facilities. Since 2021, e-waste is no longer permitted to be disposed of in landfills. The good news is that solar panels, which are either silicone-based or thin-film, are recyclable.

“For solar to truly be an eco-friendly energy source, responsible disposal is a must,” says Ofentse Seerane, EnviroServ Waste Management Consultant for Alternatives.

The transportation of hazardous waste, which may include some types of e-waste, is also regulated by the National Road and Traffic Act, which incorporates a number of South African National Standards (SANS) Codes of practice into law. The regulations, administered by the Department of Transport, and the associated SANS Codes, set out the standards for the transport of hazardous substances by road or rail, including packaging, labelling, documentation, emergency response and training requirements.

EnviroServ Waste Management holds the correct waste management licences, meaning they are able to assist businesses and municipalities with collection of solar panels and transportation to e-waste recycling companies. Here, the panels are dismantled and the components, including glass, copper, tin, aluminium and silver, are either separated for recycling, or collected as hazardous waste and sent to landfill.

“If your business operates with solar panels, you need a plan in place to deal with disposing and recycling your old panels to prevent pollution in future. Speak to EnviroServ for assistance,” Seerane said.



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