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Second chance for wind turbine blades

The issue of recycling of wind industry is of major importance as one of the basic materials used in the manufacture of wind turbines are the blades that are completely non-recyclable. The turbine blades are made of glass materials or mixtures of carbon fibers, materials with significant aerodynamic advantage but almost impossible to recycle. Therefore, at the end of their life cycle, most of these fins end up as waste in landfills.

According to estimates, there will be 50,000 tons of such waste in 2020, a figure that will rise to over 200,000 tonnes in 2034. Gloomy scenario, the truth is, that there is only one company that recycles fins at the end of their life cycle, Melbeck, in northern Germany. The company collects the blades and after mixing with other waste produces a compound used as a fuel substitute. The company processes about 400-500 tons of fins each month.

In 2007, the municipality of Rotterdam presented a playground, the Kinderparadijs Meidoorn, created with similar blades which were cuted into individual portions and served as tunnels, towers, bridges, ramps and other structures in a playground. The city has also used the propellers as public seating in Willemsplein square. Similarly, in 2014, created a bus stop in the city of Almere, again from fins. This demonstrates that even if other cities adopt the policy of Rotterdam waste from these materials would be reduced to a minimum.