Hundreds of giant windmill blades are being shipped to a landfill in Wyoming to be buried because they simply can’t be recycled.
Local media reports several wind farms in the state are sending over 900 un-reusable blades to the Casper Regional Landfill to be buried.
While nearly 90 percent of old or decommissioned wind turbines, like the motor housing, can be refurbished or at least crushed, fiberglass windmill blades present a problem due to their size and strength.
“Our crushing equipment is not big enough to crush them,” a landfill representative told NPR.
Prior to burying the cumbersome, sometimes nearly 300-foot long blades, the landfill has to cut them up into smaller pieces onsite and stack them in order to save space during transportation.
To make matters worse, the blades aren’t exactly compostable. The Casper Solid Waste Manager tells Wyoming News Now they’ll take hundreds of years to biodegrade.
“So Casper happens to be, I think it is, the biggest landfill facility in the state of Wyoming. These blades are really big, and they take up a lot of airspace, and our unlined area is very, very large, and it’s going to last hundreds of years.”
As if that’s not bad enough, NPR reports researchers estimate the US will soon have to grapple with over 720,000 tons of blades over the next 20 years, “a figure that doesn’t include newer, taller higher-capacity versions.”
So much for saving the environment.
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