So much for the “green” in green-tech stimulus. When Solyndra went bankrupt and flushed over a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money down the drain, it didn’t leave much behind, except for some expensive glass tubes … that they destroyed rather than sold. They also left something else behind for taxpayers as a memorial to the wasteful spending that Solyndra now exemplifies, and somehow it’s both ironic and fitting (via Katie Pavlich):
Three months ago, CBS 5 caught Solyndra tossing millions of dollars worth of brand new glass tubes used to make solar panels. Now the bankrupt solar firm, once touted as a symbol of green technology, may be trying to abandon toxic waste. …
It’s not just the leftover hazardous materials, but also the machinery used to apply them to the glass tubes. “Certainly those tools will need to be decontaminated, cleaned up, handled correctly as they are taken apart,” he said.
Swardenski told CBS 5 the disposal process is going smoothly in Fremont, but what about nearby Milpitas? Solyndra leased a building on California Circle for the final assembly of its solar panels. But the cleanup at the leased building in Milpitas is in limbo, because Solyndra doesn’t want to pay.
CBS 5 found the building locked up, with no one around. At the back, a hazardous storage area was found. There were discarded buckets half filled with liquids and barrels labeled “hazardous waste.”
These are the normal byproducts of solar-panel production. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound terribly “green” to me. Solyndra didn’t make a whole lot of solar panels, and yet their brief moment of taxpayer glory has left area residents with considerable residue. What would have been left to dispose had Solyndra actually succeeded?
If we have to deal with environmental issues like disposing of barrels of non-degradable toxins like cadmium, how green can solar really be? Why not just stick with the petroleum- and gas-based energy that is much more efficient and doesn’t require tossing a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money just to fund a failure?