Published on 01 December 2021

Solar panel recycling facility opens in Lonsdale

One of Australia’s first solar panel recycling facilities is now open in Lonsdale, with residents and businesses now able to drop panels off so they can gain new life.

Reclaim PV officially started processing solar panels at its Lonsdale facility this week, after committing to a long-term lease in February 2021.

The facility, the first in the company’s planned national solar panel recovery and recycling network, is expected to process about 70,000 panels each year, effectively diverting about 1400 tonnes from landfill annually

Reclaim PV Director Clive Fleming said the community can expect to see a number of drop-off locations available in Onkaparinga as more sites come online.

“This will provide the option to drop panels off at one of these locations, that will then end up at our Lonsdale facility for recycling,” he said.

“Panels go through a frame and junction box removal, followed by a short time in the furnace to separate the glass from the PV (photovoltaic) cells. A further process then takes place to extract other minerals from the cells.

“Important materials—such as aluminium, copper, glass, plastics, silver and silicon—are recovered through recycling where they would otherwise need to be produced from virgin materials.

“This is very important in not only reducing the need for creating products from virgin materials in terms of energy needs, but it also frees up scarce space in landfill.

“Additionally, we’re creating jobs and boosting education around recycling and enabling communities to become more involved in positive ways to improve our environment.”

Clive said Reclaim PV was attracted to do business in Onkaparinga due to synergies with other recycling operators in the area.

“The amount of ample industrial zoning also attracted our interest,” Clive said.

Residents and businesses interested in dropping off solar panels for recycling are encouraged to use the online booking platform at Reclaim PV’s website.

The opening of the facility caps off a historic month for recycling in the City of Onkaparinga, following the official opening of the Southern Materials Recovery Facility at Seaford Heights, which is now processing the yellow-bin recycling from more than 360,000 residents across Southern Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

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Reclaim PV Director, Clive Fleming, at their Lonsdale recycling facility.