When you consider the millions of dollars given to solar companies from both federal and state governments in the form of loans, grants, and tax credits, it only makes sense that these companies figure out ways to give back to our communities. It’s not enough for companies to just protect the environment, they should employ those who helped fund those loans, grants, and tax credits and provide job security.
Mandatory takeback and recycling legislation, if done right, has the potential to create good and safe jobs in the U.S.
With a little foresight, the industry could begin to seek out regional locations to set up recycling facilities in the U.S. Locations could be set up in areas where unemployment is high and where the cost of transporting end-of-life panels to the facility and the reusable material to the manufacturing plant is low.
For example, a region with a high concentration of panels on roof tops or a solar farm might be an ideal area to set up a recycling facility that would create jobs and contribute to the community’s economy.
Many solar panels contain hazardous chemicals. If the industry starts to develop recycling programs now, it will help to ensure that only the best technology (one that is safe and protects workers) is used for recycling and recovery.
Companies supporting a mandatory takeback and responsible recycling policy not only show a genuine interest in protecting our environment but also demonstrate their commitment to investing back into the communities. It’s a winning solution for the environment and good jobs.