Residents in the City of Bendigo can now dispose of old or unwanted solar panels for free, following an agreement between Council and the Solar Recovery Corporation.

Solar panels can be freely disposed of at dedicated drop points established at the Council-managed Eaglehawk Landfill and Strathfieldsaye and Heathcote Transfer Stations.

However, broken or smashed panels and other solar operated equipment such as solar lights will not be accepted, and free disposal is available to residents only and not commercial operators.

According to research from the University of South Australia, 100,000t of solar panel waste will be disposed of nationally by 2035.

City of Greater Bendigo Resource Recovery and Education Manager, Brooke Pearce, said the agreement would encourage the sustainable management and recycling of used solar panels.

“The City of Greater Bendigo is preparing for this influx by partnering with Solar Recovery Corporation to provide responsible management and recycling for solar panels that have reached the end of their life,” Ms Pearce said.

“Materials that can be recovered from old solar panels include glass, plastic, silicon, copper and aluminium.

“This material can be recovered from old solar panels for re-use in local manufacturing streams.

“Anyone dropping off panels must be able to unload the panels themselves taking care not to damage them at the drop off point.

“The City of Greater Bendigo is committed to keeping valuable resources out of landfill and is pleased to have teamed up with Solar Recovery Corporation to provide a free, responsible management process for solar panels that are at the end of their life.

“While initially we will have collection points at Eaglehawk Landfill and Strathfieldsaye and Heathcote Transfer Stations, this may be expanded to other local sites in the future.”

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