Module Collection and Recycling Program
As the result of global industrialization and economic growth, the issue of what happens to products at the end of their useful life needs to be addressed. First Solar is embracing its responsibility by implementing solutions today to reduce the number of solar modules that end up as waste in the future. Practicing a concept called extended producer responsibility, First Solar has voluntarily established the photovoltaic industry’s first comprehensive, prefunded solar module collection and recycling program.
The program, an integral part of First Solar's product offering, is designed to be unconditional, convenient, and free. Anyone wishing to dispose of First Solar modules can request collection at any time, at no additional cost. The main goals of the program are to maximize the recovery of valuable materials for use in new modules or other new products and minimize the environmental impacts associated with PV system production.
Collection and Recycling Request
As First Solar places no restriction on when someone may request collection, anyone in possession of a First Solar PV Module can participate in the recycling program by submitting a request for collection.
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First Solar is the first PV company to implement an unconditional prefunded Collection and Recycling Program for damaged and end-of-life modules.
- Funding: With the sale of each module, First Solar sets aside sufficient funds to meet the estimated future collection and recycling costs of its modules. These funds are put into custodial accounts in the name of a Trustee. Only the Trustee can distribute the funds and these funds cannot be accessed for any purpose other than for administering module collection and recycling. Learn more »
- Registration: The original module owner is required to register their installation with First Solar. Installation records are used to optimize the design of the Module Collection and Recycling Program to minimize any adverse environmental impacts associated with collection and transportation.
- Notice: Individual modules are labeled with website and telephone contact information, along with the information that the module owner is able to return the product free of charge.
- Collection: First Solar manages the logistics of collecting each module and provides packaging and transportation to the recycling center. Learn more »
- Recycling: Approximately 90% (by mass) of each collected First Solar PV module is recycled into new products, including new solar modules. All recycling processes are conducted in accordance with local health, safety and waste management regulations. Learn more »
- Improvement: The program, including the financing structure, is audited periodically by an independent third party to ensure it is achieving its goals and to identify areas for continuous improvement.