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First 1000 tonnes of end-of-life solar PV modules collected for recycling

PV CYCLE has reached its first 1020 tonnes of end-of-life solar photovoltaic (PV) modules collected for recycling since the programme became operational in June 2010.

By Kari Williamson

In addition to the Collective Scheme, the current Individual System, which is also under the umbrella of PV CYCLE, has collected and processed 1900 tonnes in the same period.

PV CYCLE is capable of processing solar PV modules disposed of in any country of the European Union and the EFTA (Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland).

“Collecting the first 1020 tonnes marks a very important milestone for PV CYCLE in particular and for the entire European photovoltaic industry in general,” says PV CYCLE’s Managing Director, Jan Clyncke.

“Having a product-lifespan of over 30 years we expect significant volumes of end-of life photovoltaic modules entering the system in the coming years. The work being done today and the success of the system so far is the best guarantee for the entire PV value-chain to be able to adequately process any modules disposed of in the near future.”

Almost 45% of the collected solar PV modules comes from Europe’s solar power leader, Germany, followed by Spain, Italy, Poland, Belgium and France. After collection, the modules are taken by PV CYCLE to partner recycling plants to be processed.

For silicon-based solar PV modules, the current recycling partners with an environmentally sound treatment and the highest yields are based in Germany, Belgium and Spain; for non-silicon based solar PV modules the partners are based in Germany and Belgium.

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