On June 27, 2018, the Santa Monica was awarded $50,000 in funding from the Household Hazardous Waste Grant Program of the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). The City worked with the California Product Stewardship Council and other partners to survey stakeholders, conduct outreach, and coordinate panel pickups from homeowners and solar installers. The CA Conservation Corps picked up and hauled panels and a Universal Waste management company called CalMicro, recycled the panels.
Overall, 281 working and non-working panels were collected from 8 locations for an estimated total recycling weight of 7,920 lbs. The cost for hauling and recycling solar panels was about $0.62 per pound or $17 per panel. An additional 78 working panels were diverted for reuse.
Since the pilot is concluded, the City does not have staff or budget to dedicate to processing solar panels at this time, however, there are Universal Waste recyclers in Southern California that are certified to process solar panels and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Los Angeles is accepting unwanted working panels. The California Product Stewardship Council created a website dedicated to the proper handling of unwanted solar panels: calpsc.org/solarpanelstewardship.
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Source: City of Santa Monica
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