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The largest solar panel recycling plant has opened just as the flow of used and spent solar panels sharply ramps up

The largest solar panel recycling plant @werecyclesolar in North America has opened in Yuma, Arizona just as the flow of used and spent solar panels sharply ramps up. Solar waste will total some 78 million tons globally. The Yuma facility can process 7,500 panels in a single day or roughly 69 million pounds per year. As of early June, it estimates more than 650,000 tons of carbon dioxide have been avoided. It is reusing about 60% of the panels that come in.

​ Some solar panels can be reused, said Adam Saghei, CEO of We Recycle Solar, and there is a market for them — clients around the world who search for refurbished panels for their affordability.Those that don't go towards testing and resale, head down a conveyor belt where glass, metals, and other materials with value are separated.

​ Some of the highest value materials are copper, silver, aluminum, glass and crystalline silicon. Repurposing these means finding new uses for them, such as selling glass to companies that do sandblasting.

​ Founded in August 2019 by a team of infrastructure and environmental entrepreneurs, We Recycle Solar has recycled or remarketed more than 500,000 end-of-life solar panels to date, diverting 23 million pounds of hazardous solar panel waste from landfills.​ Now, with the addition of new lines of machinery and enhanced technology, We Recycle Solar’s full-scale PV recycling plant boasts the highest processing capacity in the nation, with the ability to process panels of every make and model, from any manufacturer, including those that are severely damaged, at a rate of up to 10 panels per minute. ​

In a single day, We Recycle Solar’s utility-scale 75,000 sq. ft Yuma facility has the capacity to process 7,500 modules, or 345,000 pounds, for recycling & reuse, and 69 million pounds in a single year — the weight of roughly 700 Boeing 737 commercial jets — with plans to quadruple capacity to 522 million pounds per year by 2028.

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