Zero Landfill Solar Panel Recycling

The cost-effective, environmentally better end-of-life solution for the commercial solar industry.

A Better Way to Manage Solar Panel Disposal

Comstock Metals offers a commercial, environmentally safer, and cost-effective end-of-life solar panel recycling solution for solar photovoltaic (PV) panel waste generated by utilities, O&M groups, solar engineers, solar consultants and contractors, and municipalities, serving the Southwest U.S. (CA, NV, AZ) and beyond. We are currently accepting decommissioned solar panels at our first facility in Silver Springs, NV.

We help enhance ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance by offering a compliant, environmentally safe, and certified solution that eliminates plastics and responsibly captures and recovers the scarce materials from PV panels received as constructed, preventing VOC contaminants from entering the landfill or environment.

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Solar panel recycling
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The Problem

Industry and government research suggests an estimated 90% of discarded photovoltaic (“PV”) solar panels, and the harmful components from disassembly containing VOC contaminants, wind up in landfills. There are no standardized regulatory requirements for PV panel waste handling to ensure responsible disposal, although some states like California have banned these hazardous materials from landfills. The potential for significant volumes of VOC-contaminated plastics polluting our soils and water supplies has never been higher, creating ongoing and urgent community challenges.

The costs of current disposal methods (other than landfills) remain very high and still result in multiple contaminants, including inground glass, plastics and other toxic materials infiltrating our landfills and ultimately, contaminating our ecosystems.
 
 

The Solution

Industry and communities seek a reliable, cost-effective, and safer end-of-life destination for PV solar waste that they can trust, that safely eliminates plastics and ensures VOC contaminants do not wind up in landfills or the environment.

 

That’s Where We Come In

We safely eliminate plastics upfront from the PV panel waste we receive and responsibly recover scarce materials in our process for responsible re-use in the electrification economy. We end the practice of re-introducing plastics with VOC contaminants back into the environment or landfills, at a cost that is competitive or better than current disposal methods.

Sustainable and Responsible End-of-Life Solar Panel Recycling

In 2008, the use of solar PV emerged as an economically viable, commercial solution toward greener energy and transportation for industry and for communities. Since then, the number of PV panels deployed in the U.S. has increased exponentially and consistently. Our research indicates there are approximately 230 million cubic feet of deployed solar panels in the United States alone, a number that is expected to double within 5 short years. The growth rate continues to accelerate for installed solar throughout the U.S. 

Collective size of all currently deployed solar panels in the US:

230M CUBIC FEET

is equal to:

0

18-Wheeler Trucks

Manual or mechanical panel disassembly or sending them to landfills is the standard way PV waste is managed today. Tipping service fees are charged to have panels picked up at the curb, transferred, and buried at a landfill or manually disassembled, often resulting in component streams being sent to different third parties where the components may still contain contaminants, all adding up to additional costs and a potentially less safe end-of-life solution.  

Our facility in Silver Springs, NV directly receives solar PV panel waste for a tipping fee competitive to current disposal methods.

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The difference is in our technology-driven solution and our process. We safely eliminate plastic and recover scarce materials with VOC contaminants in the front end of our process and keep them from finding their way downstream back into landfills or going back into the environment. Our process enables a more efficient and truly sustainable capture and recovery of scarce materials for responsible re-use. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We accept most sizes and types of panels, including Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, Thin Film, Bifacial, Concentrator (CPV), and Double Glass.

From source to our facility, we prioritize safe, compliant handling and transport. Please palletize and band panels before pickup and send any panel or glass fragments in a gaylord container.

Compared to existing end-of-life manual and mechanical disposal practices, our solution ends the unsafe practice of sending components with VOC contaminants or full panels to landfills – from the point of receipt of decommissioned PV panels at our facility.  

  • Our process avoids uncertainty of what can happen after typical mechanical disassembly, where materials with plastics are treated or disposed of by third parties or glass can wind up being reused for sandblasting, which only redistributes the harmful material into the environment.  
  • We eliminate plastics and capture VOC contaminants at the front end of our process, responsibly recovering scarce materials that are a part of original manufacturing, ensuring they do not wind up back in landfills or the environment. 
  • We are cost-competitive as compared to alternative disposal methods.

With a significant amount of solar PV waste from decommissioned solar panels ending up in landfills, plastic (laminates from solar cells), VOC contaminates, and heavy metals are potent greenhouse gas generating materials and critical threats to human health.  

  • Comstock Metals provides an EoL solution that safely eliminates plastics and prevents VOC contaminants from entering landfills or the environment. We safely recover scarce materials in our process for responsible re-use in the electrification economy and end the practice of re-introducing contaminants back into the environment.  
  • Our facility is regionally close to the largest clusters of recurring solar waste volume in the United States.  
  • Our solution can enhance ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance.

Decommissioned panels come from removing a solar panel system, installation breakage, regular maintenance, or damage replacements and landfills. Sources include (i) utilities, (ii) O&M Groups, (iii) environmental consulting and engineering groups, (iv) collectors – aggregators, (v) installers/contractors, and (vi) municipalities, community groups, and other local organizations. 

Comstock Metals charges up-front tipping fees based on unique customer waste profiles and volume that are cost competitive as compared to alternative disposal solutions, from transport to Certificate of Destruction. Waste suppliers should contact us directly for a quote.

Yes, we accept all brands of solar panels, including First Solar.

Send Us Your Panels

We are currently accepting decommissioned solar panels at our first end-of-life facility in Silver Springs, NV from utilities, O&M (operation & maintenance) groups, solar engineers, consultants, contractors, and municipalities.

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Gain more insights about our solution-oriented solar panel services and make solar energy truly green and sustainable in your community. Send us an email today. 

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