Wind power will help save the environment. It’s not dirty like coal and evil like nuclear. It’s just so … clean.
Wind turbine blades can’t be recycled, so they’re pilling up in landfills as companies are searching for ways to deal with the tens of thousands of blades that have reached the end of their lives. https://t.co/UBh7AeDupT
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) February 11, 2020
A wind turbine’s blades can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing, so at the end of their lifespan they can’t just be hauled away. First, you need to saw through the lissome fiberglass using a diamond-encrusted industrial saw to create three pieces small enough to be strapped to a tractor-trailer.
The municipal landfill in Casper, Wyoming, is the final resting place of 870 blades whose days making renewable energy have come to end. The severed fragments look like bleached whale bones nestled against one another.
“That’s the end of it for this winter,” said waste technician Michael Bratvold, watching a bulldozer bury them forever in sand. “We’ll get the rest when the weather breaks this spring.”
Tens of thousands of aging blades are coming down from steel towers around the world and most have nowhere to go but landfills. In the U.S. alone, about 8,000 will be removed in each of the next four years. Europe, which has been dealing with the problem longer, has about 3,800 coming down annually through at least 2022, according to BloombergNEF. It’s going to get worse: Most were built more than a decade ago, when installations were less than a fifth of what they are now.
Along with the bodies of the tens of millions of birds slaughtered by the wind turbine blades????
— Mint (@Babbas70) February 11, 2020
Don’t tell Greta that. pic.twitter.com/ey4EJkLofc
— John Castle (@ertirona) February 11, 2020
— New Decade Waifu (@LibertyWaifu) February 11, 2020
Every solution comes with its own set of problems.
— Rita McConnell (@52York) February 11, 2020
But hey, at least it doesn’t have to be a total loss for the planet:
Seems like a great opportunity for some installation art https://t.co/x805g91DEi
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) February 11, 2020
There you go!