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Solar power boom fuels increase in hazardous waste sent to dumps

Associated press -- SAN FRANCISCO - Homeowners on the hunt for sparkling solar panels are lured by ads filled with images of pristine landscapes and bright sunshine, and words about the technology's benefits for the environment — and the wallet.

What customers may not know is that there's a dirtier side.

While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem. Fueled partly by billions in government incentives, the industry is creating millions of solar panels each year and, in the process, millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water.

To dispose of the material, the companies must transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands o


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Submitted Feb 11, 2013 By: Italianman
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
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REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
sarasotasingle
Champion Author Sarasota

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 10:14:33 PM

Hmm..
joko0
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 4:01:07 AM

Interesting
goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 3:02:14 AM

So what. It may not be perfect, but it is better.
wshokie12
Champion Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:18:04 AM

Old
gocatgo
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:17:41 AM

Every used lube oil is considered a hazardous material and takes special handling. The same can be said of fuel products. Nothing new here folks just move along.
judgemobile
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:14:24 AM

more proof government should STAY OUT of private sector.
boatfloyd
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:12:23 AM

Not good.
regout
Champion Author Quebec

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:11:54 AM

Anything again.
tedjm1
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:11:02 AM

Huh?
moregas1966
Champion Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:09:11 AM

alwas some
jrschl
Champion Author Louisville

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:08:04 AM

Funny how to get nice, clean, green, shiny things, all of the toxic and dirty byproducts are swept under the rug. Never to be mentioned, again.
yyc2yow
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:07:22 AM

ALWAYS SOMETHING
N5EXY
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:06:45 AM

And I thought that was a sonic boom or the Korean nuke test - - -
Ray_10589
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:06:00 AM

good and bad ....
jjfisher
All-Star Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:01:58 AM

What is the golden answer?
sydb7
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 12, 2013 12:00:50 AM

There has got to be a better way!
TA33
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:58:50 PM

Every product has a downside.
69Bonne
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:58:44 PM

Nothing is easy.
ClassicWheeler
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:58:30 PM

Seems to be that we are not trying to resolve anything here. When are we going to be more serious about our situation and stop trying to short change the people and brown-nose the government?
SpankyMI
Champion Author Kalamazoo

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:57:55 PM

Not another case of unexpected consequences! When will it end?
thomas41546
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:54:10 PM

one step forward, two steps back
clermont40miles
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:53:46 PM

The greens will see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.

That is because they KNOW nothing.

Green is red.
billwho
Champion Author El Paso

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:52:42 PM

I must be living in a bubble. Have never heard of any toxic material connected to solar panels. How green is green?
Buddy2264
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:50:54 PM

Might be true, but I would be more worried about all the nuclear fuel rods stored at nuclear plants with no place to recycle them, YET!
SavALot
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:49:00 PM

this stuff doesn't just disappear... out of sight out of mind is not necessarily a good thing
30mpg80
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:48:06 PM

"Producing solar is still significantly cleaner than fossil fuels. Energy derived from natural gas and coal-fired power plants, for example, creates more than 10 times more hazardous waste than the same energy created by a solar panel, according to Mulvaney." in the full article, not as sensational as the first few paragraphs.
suzmar
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:46:38 PM

Another wonderful by-product of "green" energy, just like ethanol causes more problems than it solves.
UseLessGasFolks
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:45:59 PM


As long as it is properly disposed of thats fine.
hemiMI
Veteran Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:44:32 PM

Nice try.
libertyut
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:44:17 PM

leave it to the liberals to make it worst then what we got.
nsdp
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:39:37 PM

If they want to count the fuel used to haul the waste away then let's do the same for all fuels used to mine coal and bring NG to your home. NG first because it is easier. Got to FERC Form 2 for any gas pipeline and you will see that on average 15% of all natural gas (about 3 trillion cubic feet) is used for compressor fuel or is lost and unaccounted for each year.

Then let's compare Western Region (Wyoming ,Montana, Colorado Utah) coal. From the ICC annual reports for railroads Western coal uses an average of 4 gallons per ton for transportation to power plants. Now going to the 10-K's of the producers you will find that they buy 1-1.5 gallons of diesel per ton mined. So at 578 million tons, the US used just under 3.6 billion gallons of diesel for extraction and shipping western coal. That figures to be about 90 million barrels of crude at a marginal cost of $110/barrel Or about $9.5 billion dollars worth of foreign crude. And they talk about solar waste.

[Edited by: nsdp at 2/11/2013 11:41:04 PM EST]
teafortwo
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:37:43 PM


This message brought to you by your friends at BP and the Oil, Gas & Coal industries .... :0\
BREW9
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:34:51 PM

wow
hyeglenn
Champion Author Fresno

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:33:38 PM

There is always a bad side to everthing that is good. WHAT!
JamesCalvin
Champion Author Lancaster

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:28:35 PM

Not all that glitters is gold, apparently!
MDTDriver
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:27:07 PM

There is always a negative about any eco use!
HailstormCA
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:27:05 PM

Duh!? And they've got mercury in them thar florescent s.
wayoung56
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:26:50 PM

So NoBama's push for "clean" solar is actually another plot to poison the environment and kill more Americans...
lowspeed
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:24:56 PM

everthings gonna have waste
blazerbob91
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:23:59 PM

Thats the dirty side of solar.
agent0077
Champion Author Colorado

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:22:55 PM

waste is always a problem
EvPv
Champion Author Maine

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:22:52 PM

I do not support government backing of ANY energy source, from wind to solar to coal to oil.
However.....
It is interesting how far down this paragraph was:

"The roughly 20-year life of a solar panel still makes it some of the cleanest energy technology currently available. Producing solar is still significantly cleaner than fossil fuels. Energy derived from natural gas and coal-fired power plants, for example, creates more than 10 times more hazardous waste than the same energy created by a solar panel, according to Mulvaney."
us4usa
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:20:23 PM

That gives Uncle Sam something new to tax, Solar Hazardous Waste???
Zackny
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:18:01 PM

ok
brprven
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:17:57 PM

Just great
Dragnet
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:16:20 PM

Seems like the work of algore again.
Z51Corvette
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:07:48 PM

I read this one earlier... gross! Now I have to eat, lol!
Lukus
Champion Author Halifax

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:07:36 PM

OK
mfeldstein
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:06:14 PM

Complex, eh?
Lakepirate13
Veteran Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:01:54 PM

This sory must have been by an oil baron.
pgerassi
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Feb 11, 2013 10:59:50 PM

Recycle.
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