Understand PV Recycling Terms


Reclaiming a waste product by converting it into useful products. This might include separating aluminum frames or glass from PV panels for recycling.


The process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. Recycling converts used materials into as close to their virgin state as possible, avoiding the use of raw materials. Recycling will salvage certain materials due to their intrinsic value or hazardous nature.


Giving a new purpose or use to an existing item. For example, repurposing older solar panels in installations requiring less power or in off-grid applications.




Legislation Affecting PV Recyling

Helpful Articles on PV Recycling

5 Research Priorities for Making Sure More Solar PV Materials Get Recycled

The main problem with recycling PV materials is that doing so costs more than dumping them in a landfill, says Garvin Heath, senior scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and co-author of the since-released study by the International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programme on Photovoltaics Power Systems.

Stacked solar panels image

The World Is Facing A Solar Panel Waste Problem

Solar panel installations hit a total 629 GW last year--an increase of 12 percent from 2018. It was also a lot—really a lot—of panels. And in a few years, these panels could become a major waste management headache.

Solar Farm aerial image