Your Online Guide for Reuse, Repair, Recycling, and Safe Disposal
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Solar Panels - Working

Photovoltaic devices that convert the sunlight into electricity or heat.

Household Hazardous Waste

This item should never be put in a curbside bin. For more information visit our household hazardous waste page.

As of 1/1/2021, some solar panels may be managed as Universal Waste in California per DTSC (see details).  The California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC - choose Solar under Products) holds the most current links to policy, studies, and articles on Solar Panels recycling in California, the US, and globally.

Solar panel design makes disassembly and recovery of the various components — from glass to the various precious metals in them such as cadmium, gallium, germanium, indium, selenium and tellurium — a complicated process. Most wind up at shredders or landfills, because the case for selling the glass and aluminum in them doesn’t make economic sense. A project at Arizona State University hopes to create a solar recycling process that makes it simpler to recover materials such as silicon and silver from photovoltaic technology in a way that makes the economics pencil out.

Invest in panels that are durable, warrantied, non-hazardous, and recyclable. If there is a problem, contact your installer or service provider for repair options. If the panels need to be replaced but still operate, donate for reuse or contact a reseller (ex. Habitat for Humanity). Use new brackets to install reused PVs. If the panels have broken glass or are damaged, consider refurbishing or recycling, contact installer and service provider, then a possible hazardous waste facility or company.

The California Energy Commission maintains a list of PV modules available for purchase, by manufacturer, model number, and includes hazardous content.

Vendors

Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
Bay Area Electronics Recycling Center (Union City) 33548 Central Ave Union City Recycle Paid Drop-off, Paid Pick-up Call first. Flat recycling, refurbishment & processing fee. $25/panel (up to 65lbs). No thin film units. $125/hr pick up fee or drop-off to UC Warehouse
First Solar 350 West Washington St
Suite 600
Tempe Reuse Paid Pick-up large quantities
Jinko Solar (US) 595 Market St
Suite 2200
San Francisco Reuse Paid Pick-up Commercial quantity
Metal & Catalyst Resources 1513 West Dallas St
Suite 200
Houston Reuse Paid Drop-off
PV Recycling 2212 North 23rd Avenue Phoenix Reuse Paid Drop-off
Recycle1234: E-Waste & Solar Panel Recycling Center 33548 Central Ave Union City Reuse Free Drop-off Panels accepted that are less than 10yrs old and over 300 watts
Solar Recycling Company Directory (ENF) Oakland Reuse Paid Pick-up
SRS (Solarsilicon Reycling Services) 2433 Eastman Ave Ventura Recycle Paid Drop-off Large/commercial quantity. ignot & ignot production equipment
Surplus Service 3090 Osgood Ct Fremont Reuse Paid Pick-up
Urban Ore 900 Murray St. Berkeley Reuse Free Drop-off, Buyback Drop-off Call first. Only in reuse condition. Inverters and racking as well. Buyback based on watts and brand.

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