Because Old Turbine Blades Never Really Die
Energy companies and others are looking for ways to recycle wind turbine blades once they age past their useful lives. That’s a big deal because about 8,000 of these mammoth blades are removed from service annually in the United States.
Because they cannot be easily destroyed or recycled, the fiberglass blades present a disposal challenge when they are decommissioned. Only a handful of U.S. landfills will accept them, and Bloomberg Green reports that big companies like Veolia are looking for solutions. “The last thing we want to do is create even more environmental challenges,” a company official said.
The challenge is spawning its own industry. Washington-based Global Fiberglass Solutions is recycling “99.9 percent” of decommissioned blades into building materials, the company’s CEO told Bloomberg. While that’s a start, most old blades, however, still end up in landfills.