Wednesday, August 10, 2022


A lawsuit over the funding of Pennsylvania schools is in the hands of a judge, California launches a student loan debt challenge, and texts show former President Trump seeking donations after the FBI raid.


Republicans rally around former President Trump after the FBI searches his home for missing archive documents, President Biden formalizes U.S. support for Finland and Sweden joining NATO, and the FDA expands authorization of the monkeypox vaccine.


People in five rural Kentucky counties are fighting their way back after catastrophic flooding, efforts to preserve Oklahoma's historic buildings in small communities are running up against funding challenges, and more factory-built manufactured homes could help solve the nation's housing shortage.

You Can Recycle a Plastic Bottle. What About Wind-Turbine Blades?


Thursday, April 21, 2022   

This Earth Day, Americans will be reminded of the need to take steps to protect the environment.

Wind turbines are a leading clean-energy source, and the industry is looking inward to eliminate its own waste. Drive around states like Iowa, and you're bound to see rows of wind turbines hard at work. But when those spinning blades are taken out of commission, they're often sent to landfills.

To minimize waste, technology is surfacing to give these items new life, at a wind farm or in other products.

Taylor Curtis, regulatory and policy analyst for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (N-REL), said it comes at a crucial time for the industry.

"Over the last few decades, we've put [out] a tremendous amount of wind systems connected to the grid," Curtis pointed out. "But they are legacy systems and there is a projection of having a pretty large amount of materials reaching ends of life by 2050."

A 2017 study estimated there will be 43 million metric tons of global blade waste more than two decades from now.

N-REL recently demonstrated the feasibility of technology for blade recycling, with a thermoplastic resin which can be melted down and reused.

Curtis acknowledged a key challenge is motiving others in the industry to forgo blade disposal, which right now is viewed as the easier approach.

Grady Howell, project manager for Vestas Blades, which has been involved with bringing similar technology to the market, said the movement is not just about getting material from old blades back into circulation. He emphasized it can be put to use elsewhere, like cement.

"What you do is you take this blade, you break it down, you put it into the cement coat-processing process," Howell outlined. "They get the fuel out of it to fire their kiln, and they also do get some of that glass that ends up then in the concrete. And you actually kind-of end up with a fiber-reinforced cement."

Companies like Vestas admitted those producing the technology still have a lot of work to do to build up capacity and make it more commercially viable.

Curtis added policymakers can help by supporting more research and accessibility for the products.

"Right now is a great opportunity to get ahead of what could be a potential waste concern," Curtis concluded.

get more stories like this via email
A shortage of affordable housing is seen as one reason for a spike in eviction cases in Virginia. According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, the state needs 153,415 affordable rentals for people who are extremely low-income. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With Virginia's Rent Relief Program ending, a flood of eviction cases has emerged. Established during the pandemic, the program was designed to help …


As Congress debates a bill to fund climate-change solutions, Pima Community College is doing its own work to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and …

Social Issues

In the first six months of this year, the U.S. saw a significant jump in foreclosure filings, coinciding with concerns about the pressure inflation …

The Federal Trade Commission warns that scammers often pretend to be from the Social Security Administration and ask to "verify people's taxpayer ID" numbers in an effort to steal their identity. (Stockphotopro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Last year, Americans reported losing a record-breaking $5.8 billion to scams, and now, the State of California and AARP are teaming up to try to …

Social Issues

The state has just launched the California Student Loan Debt Challenge, to let public service employees - like teachers, law enforcement, nurses…

People can wait up to three years to get into affordable housing in Spokane, Wash. (Zach/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Washingtonians are feeling the squeeze from high housing prices, but a novel concept launching in Spokane could speed up the creation of affordable …

Social Issues

More officials from South Dakota's health care community are speaking out in support of Medicaid expansion. Voters will decide this fall whether to …

Social Issues

After eight years, the Pennsylvania school-funding lawsuit is in the hands of the judge, creating a waiting game heading into the new school year…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021