Wind Waste Is Stacking Up In Wyoming
Americans are slowly beginning to realize that "going green" is actually not so green after all.
Much of what is called "green," like wind and solar energy and electric cars is toxic to create and toxic to dispose of.
Then comes the problem of where to dispose of this problem waste.
States like Wyoming are often targeted as disposal sites because of their vast open lands and low population.
One nontoxic, yet still hard to dispose of item, is wind turbine blades.
To make blades that are so big, yet so light, special materials have been created because they also have to be strong enough.
A typical blade is 120 feet, but sizes vary. The largest can be as long as a football field They weigh, on average, about 20 tons.
Yet, still, those blades only last 20 years or less. Usually less.
If someone can't figure out how to recycle these things then by 2050, used Wind Turbine Blades Will Exceed 43 Million Tons Of Waste Every Year.
So where do we go with all of those blades?
Some folks are trying to come up with other uses for them, but in the meantime, they are being buried in Wyoming landfills.
Other suggestions are stacking them up at the bottom of a Wyoming coal mine before the land is reclaimed, and burring them.
Uinta County Wyoming has been digging trenches and burying the blades for a long time.
They tried buying a new heavy-duty, heavy compressor but all it did was ride up and over the wind turbine blade.
Natrona County has been cutting the blades into 20-foot lengths and then burying them.
In 2019, the Casper Landfill disposed of 1,500 of these suckers.
The Natrona County landfill is not currently taking any more blades.
So where does a wind company go with all of these things?
At the speed at which wind farms are being put up there, there will be a problem in 20 years or less with where to put all those blades.
Wyoming landfills do not have room for all of that.
Soon the wind industry will be producing 43 million tons of blade waste annually by 2050, which is the equivalent weight of 215,000 locomotives. The U.S. and Europe will account for 41% of that.
Research is being done to figure out a way to recycle or reuse these blades. Until then manufacturers are still looking to states like Wyoming to bury them.