Yes! Researchers are looking into finding ways to reuse cadmium, selenium, sulfur hexaflouride, and silicon tetrachloride, which are all materials (some considered potentially hazardous) that go into solar cells. Currently, there is no definitive method to safely dispose of them. Recycling is the general consensus for getting rid of old cells but facilities don’t yet exist.
Slowly more and more recycling centers are emerging that will pick up your used solar panels for the purpose of reusing the solar cells and materials within them. Indeed, if used solar panels end up in landfills it will not only create an excess of waste but would add harmful chemicals to the environment, like cadmium telluride. Europe has set itself ahead of the curve in this effort, but there are indeed a few organizations that will reuse solar cells in the U.S. Just check out the links below. Making a solar panel out of recycled cells costs the same and uses 1/3 of the energy, so it is undoubtedly a smart new recycling scheme.
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