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Fairfax County Launches Groundbreaking Solar Panel Recycling Program

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~Pilot program began in November 2022~

Solar Panel in Recycling Bin
Solar Panel in Recycling Bin

Fairfax County, VA – A Solar Panel Recycling program has been officially launched by the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES). Initially kicked off as a pilot project in November 2022, this innovative initiative marks a significant advancement in the County's environmental sustainability efforts. It offers a responsible method for residents to dispose of solar panels, contributing to a greener planet.

The pilot phase of the program was a critical time for DPWES and its vendor, PC Recycler, Inc. dba Securis, to meticulously refine the recycling process. This phase was dedicated to preparing for the acceptance of solar panels, focusing on how to properly dismantle them and find viable outsourcing solutions for the materials involved, such as glass recycling and the recovery of precious metals. During this time, Securis was directly accepting a limited quantity of solar panels from both residential and commercial entities within the County for testing, at no cost to the County.

Solar Panel at processing facility
Solar Panel at processing facility

Daniel Brooks, an Environmental Services Specialist at the Solid Waste Management Program, who played a key role in developing the program, shared insights from the pilot phase, "Although we hadn't started recycling solar panels during the pilot, the phase was pivotal in establishing a solid framework for the program. We partnered with Securis to explore viable options for responsible recycling and cost control. Together, we've identified a downstream vendor specializing in solar panel recycling."

With these preparations complete, Fairfax County is now actively accepting solar panels from residents for recycling. The transition from pilot to full-scale implementation demonstrates the County's commitment to sustainability and responsible waste management. Residents can bring their solar panels to either the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex Electronics Recycling area during regular hours. This service is exclusively for the disposal of residential solar panels and does not include pickup services.

This initiative, by extending its electronics recycling services to encompass solar panels, positions DPWES as a leader in municipal environmental responsibility. It signifies an innovative step towards waste management and underscores the importance of community involvement in fostering a sustainable environment.

For more information on the Solar Panel Recycling program and how to participate, please visit Recycling and Trash.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant