Community solar panel reuse centre opening soon
Published: 6 November 2023
Eurobodalla Council is partnering with Repurposing for Resilience (RfR) to set up a community solar panel reuse centre at Moruya Transfer Station.
RfR is a local volunteer group made up of electricians, engineers and fabricators - all putting their skills and creativity towards giving second-hand solar panels another life.
While the RfR team is setting up their workshop, Council’s waste staff have been stockpiling and dropping off solar panels to get them started.
Council’s waste coordinator Evan Brooks said there’s a free drop-off point at Moruya Transfer station, however fees apply at Surf Beach and Brou facilities.
“Solar panels, inverters, racking and cable can be dropped off for free at the reuse centre at Moruya Transfer Station,” Mr Brooks said.
“There is the usual $10 fee if you drop them at Surf Beach or Brou waste facilities.”
Mr Brooks said RfR approached Council to intercept used solar panels, wanting to keep them local and out of landfill.
“Instead of sending them to Sydney to be stripped and recycled, we bundle them up and take to the reuse centre,” Mr Brooks said.
RfR coordinator Lisa Cornthwaite said the team will clean, test and grade the solar equipment.
“We process and test equipment to make it available to our community either through gifting it to households in need or making it more affordable through resale,” Ms Cornthwaite said.
“By returning it to its use stream with warranty we are instilling confidence in a second-hand market.
“We’re seeing so many households that are replacing solar panels that still have years left in their lifecycle.”
Ms Cornthwaite said solar panels no longer fit for their intended use will be repurposed or upcycled into things like USB charging tables, building cladding, outdoor furniture, dog kennels and garden beds.
“We want to make a positive impact, making sure solar panels and components get the most of their working life, before they’re broken down for recycled materials.” she said.
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