How Do You Throw Away A Dead Wind Turbine?

Posted: September 21, 2019 by oldbrew in Big Green, turbines, wind

With difficulty — seems to be the answer. And as wind turbines get bigger, their massive concrete bases are not re-usable either.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

Contrary to popular opinion, the life cycle of a modern wind turbine is no more than 20 to 25 years. Since turbine blades cannot be burned and are not recyclable, the recommended option is landfill disposal. But not every landfill can even accept these massive structures, even after they are broken into their parts.

According to Pu Liu and Claire Barlow (Waste Management, April 2017), there will be 43 million metric tons of blade waste worldwide by 2050, with China possessing 40% of the waste, Europe 25%, the United States 16%, and the rest of the world 19%. The problem of blade disposal, they conclude, is just beginning to emerge as a significant factor for the future.

A 2017 report from researchers Katerin Ramirez-Tejeda, David A. Turcotte, and Sarah Pike (New Solutions) asserts that “the environmental consequences and health risks are so adverse that…

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  1. oldbrew says:

    Maybe offer it to trainee climate protesters…

  2. JB says:

    With a very large catapult.

  3. ivan says:

    Just how much of that picture is bits of wind turbine blades? I suspect it is the part the girl is kneeling on. Even then I don’t think kids should be playing on rotten fibreglass, those fibres are deadly if they get into the skin.

    As I have said before, wind turbines, and to a greater extent solar panels, are a world ecological disaster in the making, something the eco-activists totally ignore and hand the clean up to future generations.

  4. MrGrimNasty says:

    Blow it up – what plastic pollution problem!

  5. stpaulchuck says:

    as noted in the lede, about those MASSIVE concrete foundations…

    if they were spotted in good locations you could mount radio telescope arrays on them I guess. I presume they imagined windmills at those locations forever. [I certainly hope not.]

  6. Luther Burgsvik says:

    It’d be intereating to see how the recyclability, or lack of, land based wind turbines compares to sea based wind turbines. I would’ve thought that effort required to extract them would be comparable to decommissioning an off-shore oil rig.

  7. Dodgy Geezer says:

    I wonder what the half-life is of these dangerous wastes from a high level? Ah – infinite…

  8. Dave Ward says:

    “The problem of blade disposal, they conclude, is just beginning to emerge as a significant factor for the future”

    I wonder if Saint Greta is aware of this? It’s going to happen, regardless of what the climate does…

  9. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    I could tell them where to stick it.

  10. MrGrimNasty says:

    Plastic windmill components can be milled down and burnt to generate electricity, and the best thing, before long – like that fine vintage wine in BlackAdder – there will be an inexhaustible supply!

  11. ivan says:

    The problem with that is two fold, 1) too expensive for little gain and 2) what do you do with the residue left after the burning – don’t forget the toxic fumes given off during the burning.

  12. MrGrimNasty says:

    Tongue was in cheek, but modern incinerators are clean – they already burn plastic for power, in fact it is the only sane/cost effective and hence environmentally friendly way to deal with most domestic waste. It is the sorting/cleaning/recycling process that is uneconomic and not environmentally friendly (bar high value stuff like metals). The only objection for burning waste for heat/electricity is the CO2, not ‘fumes’! I don’t know the weight of plastic in a wind turbine but common sense suggests it would be more economic to dismantle and pellet those than trees from N.America!