Video: Green-tech bust Solyndra busted for abandoning toxic waste

posted at 10:01 am on April 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

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?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Tell Obama the waste doubles as dog gravy and it’d be gone immediately.

lorien1973 on April 30, 2012 at 10:05 AM

I admit, putting a nuclear power station next to my house is sounding better and better….

Turtle317 on April 30, 2012 at 10:06 AM

The entire global enviro-organism yawns. Now if it were an oil or gas company, well … that’s different story.

darwin on April 30, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Obama gave 2008 bundler George Kaiser $500+ Million for this.

Will George Kaiser be bundling for Obama in 2012?

tetriskid on April 30, 2012 at 10:07 AM

It is the way of the future! -liberals

search4truth on April 30, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Solyndra has a great deal of value. For example:

It will star in about a jillion Republican campaign commercials this fall.

It will become the avatar of the Obama mal-Administration.

Along with OWS, it will become the Poster Child of much of what is wrong with the left.

HeatSeeker2011 on April 30, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Let’s start a fund to ship the waste to the Whitehouse….

redguy on April 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Along with OWS, it will become the Poster Child of much of what is wrong with the left.

HeatSeeker2011 on April 30, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Every “OWS” protester is a douche.

They support billionaires like George Kaiser who received millions from Obama to dump toxic waste.

tetriskid on April 30, 2012 at 10:11 AM

The solution to this problem is obvious: a “windfall” profits tax on oil and gas in order to pay for the environmental cleanup costs of approved energy companies such as Solyndra. One thing I will concede to the leftwingers: they know how to reward their friends and punish their enemies.

jwolf on April 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM

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?

But where’s the feudalism inducing crony capitalism fun in that?

rbj on April 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Solar cells are anything but green. I’m waiting for someone in the coal industry to count up the CO2 required to produce each kw-hr of electricity from a solar cell and a wind mill. Can’t wait to see the EPA back peddling on their new rule.

aniptofar on April 30, 2012 at 10:17 AM

So when they say “green”, they mean more of a glowing green. Got it.

NukeRidingCowboy on April 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Put the toxic waste in green barrels. That’ll fix it.

forest on April 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM

So what’s new? Standard liberal hypocrisy in action. Same as the parks trashed by enviro-wackos on earth day, the idiot arsonists who burned a Hummer dealership – releasing more toxic smoke than all the Hummers would have in a lifetime of use, and on and on.

dentarthurdent on April 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Technically speaking though, barrels of toxic slime are “green”, at least in color.

Bishop on April 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM

This place will become a superfund clean up site.I see millions being spent with some union company doing the work.But the intentions were for the greater good.

docflash on April 30, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Maybe they could get some help from the Infernal Residue Service.

backwoods conservative on April 30, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Thank you JugEars and Secretary Chew Choo!
The MSM will be all over this again! ///

KOOLAID2 on April 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound terribly “green” to me.

…and the science behind Global Warming is not very “scientific” either when they have to cook the books and their predictions are routinely found to be wrong.

…but look…at least they are consistent….
…..having to clean behind a liberal mess is right in line with Obama’s OWS,his economic policies….and his failed foreign policy.

Baxter Greene on April 30, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Does the term “busted” mean the government is going after them like they did that guitar company, or as in someone has noticed this situation, but nothing more will be said or done about it?

Night Owl on April 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM

So where are the jack-booted EPA stormtroopers? They terrorize ordinary citizens over wetlands and snail darters but when a bunch of criminals blow through half a billion in taxpayer dollars BUT also contribute to Obama’s reelection?

Stay out of jail free cards all around!

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM

This story just gets better and better. Next you’re gonna tell me they were sacrificing virgins under a full moon. If Mitten’s team doesn’t hang this around the administration’s neck like a dead chicken then they don’t deserve to win.

Browncoatone on April 30, 2012 at 10:35 AM

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?

Exactly……


Chu: I give myself an A-minus on managing taxpayer investments

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/01/chu-i-give-myself-an-a-minus-on-managing-taxpayer-investments/

Department Of Energy Secretary Steven Chu: “Well I would give myself a pretty good grade because if you look at what we’ve done, and what we’ve supported, and the breakthroughs that have occurred during this tenure, I think it speaks very well.

…really…you can’t make this sh!t up.

National MSM:


“look over there….I think Romney ran over a squirrel 30 years ago”…..

Baxter Greene on April 30, 2012 at 10:35 AM

I would have liked to have bid on some of those glass tubes. Too bad destroyed. I understand why they were destroyed, if the BOD made a decision to recycle them, then the broken glass can be transported away much more efficiently than cylinders. But still… I would have paid for the cylinders at far better than recycling rates.

CLaFarge on April 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM

A BIG feature of bankruptcy disclosure these days is REVEALING even potential environmental liability.

Wonder if there will be any fraud investigation…

Ragspierre on April 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM

It’s widely known that solar panel manufacturing generates toxic waste and greenhouse gases. It just never makes it into any Tommy Friedman columns. Here’s an article from 2008 that notes:

All these processes produce air pollution and heavy metal emissions, and they consume energy – which brings about more air pollution, heavy metal emissions and also greenhouse gases.

Google “solar panel manufacturing toxic waste” and you’ll get millions of hits. None from MSM sources like the NYT, WaPo or other climate alarmist advocates, though. Curious, that.

rcpjr on April 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM

I would have paid for the cylinders at far better than recycling rates.CLaFarge on April 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM

….that would involve this administration making an economic decision that actually increases the chance of making a profit….

…………..a concept totally alien to the Obama administration….

….see: Cash for Clunkers…Obamacare…Stimulus….bailouts…..green job initiatives….

Baxter Greene on April 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Surely there must be way to make those responsible accountable for this – federal – state – local laws – great publicity for the good folk.

karra on April 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Haz waste typically has to be removed for disposal in 90 days. There are also inspection regulations to abide by while it is onsite. What, no Notice of Violations/fines for Solyndra from EPA? Go figure.

TruthMatters on April 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Solyndra Green is people!

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on April 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

This!

Does the term “busted” mean the government is going after them like they did that guitar company, or as in someone has noticed this situation, but nothing more will be said or done about it?

Night Owl on April 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM

…and this!

So where are the jack-booted EPA stormtroopers? They terrorize ordinary citizens over wetlands and snail darters but when a bunch of criminals blow through half a billion in taxpayer dollars BUT also contribute to Obama’s reelection?

Stay out of jail free cards all around!

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM

…WONDER WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THE CLEAN-UP?
(yes…I am shouting!)

KOOLAID2 on April 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Toxic nightmare brought to you by the smartest guys in the room….

Dr Evil on April 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Blowing half a billion dollars while building a factory with singing showers, employing a handful of people for less than a year, destroying assets after going bankrupt, and leaving behind toxic waste/a superfund site to be- all in the name of “green energy” (well that, and paying off political cronies with US taxpayer monies).

That’s…

Winning the future, the baraka soetero way!

Let’s move!

Go on and do the swindle dougie, everbuddy!

GrassMudHorsey on April 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Of course, Solyndra tossed out perfectly good stuff, and not at all unexpected that they’d walk away leaving themselves open for millions of dollars in potential lawsuits for illegal dumping or unlawful handling of toxic waste.

No such suit will ever see the inside of a courtroom…not under this Attorney General.

It was never about being energy-green, or environmentally-green.

Solyndra and all the rest of the recipients of Dr. Chu’s and Obama’s largesse were/are merely laundering money.

Just laundering money.

Moving the slush fund along.

To actually believe that nearly a trillion dollars of taxpayers hard-earned money would be given by anyone in this Administration to actually solve a problem or provide any marketable solutions…to anything…is the acme of naïveté.

Paying off or paying back or financially rewarding Obama supporters is what all of this is about.

That’s the only “green” program Obama actually supports.

Until they change the color of our currency, that is.

coldwarrior on April 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Haven’t seen bayam or the other libtards yet to justify how smart the libs are…..

dentarthurdent on April 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I happen to know a thing or two about photo-voltaic device manufacturing (engineer by education and vocation) and the dirty little secret of the “green” movement is that the devices they wish to exploit use some of the most toxic and expensive compounds to manufacture them.

Not only do these devices use rare earth metals that the US has a very limited supply of (China is the biggest supplier worldwide) but they are some of the most toxic elements to mine and refine into raw materials. What do the greenines out there think, this stuff magically appears from Unicorn poop?

Like buying oil from the middle east, we are simply enslaving ourselves to a different foreign country, ie, China. And China has already proven that it will use it commodities as economic weapons to extract concessions(much like the Russians with their gas exports).

powerpickle on April 30, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Actually, smashing the unused glass tubes is one of those unintended consequences of our perverse tax code. Businesses get to write off destroyed equipment at a much faster rate than if they try to resell it or donate it. Not sure how it applies to bankruptcy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the economic calculation dictates it.

powerpickle on April 30, 2012 at 11:32 AM

President Obama we have to get off of dirty energy (fossil fuels) and invest in clean green energy so the U.S. can be energy independent.

The U.S. has untapped supplies of natural gas it’s no more dirtier than the solar energy industry.

Dr Evil on April 30, 2012 at 11:32 AM

We knew this was coming, didn’t we?

BobMbx on April 30, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Solyndra management has pulled off what Zero Mostel And Gene Wilder could not: “Springtime for Hitler” was a flop, and they made a bundle on the failure.

iurockhead on April 30, 2012 at 11:56 AM

First, being classed as Hazardous Waste is NOT Toxic waste that is another class.

Second, it all depends what the stuff is.

The glass tubes are not the huge deal that they are being made out to be. They were specifically designed for Solyndra’s technology and could be recycled as crushed BUT it all depends where they could be sent to with all logistics and handling cost. Many recyclable items are not because the cost is greater than amount of received and thus less expensive to place in a landfill.

Kermit on April 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Looks like a VERY typical plant closure and cleanup, especially after auctioneers have sold off all that has value and riggers have removed the equipment.

Kermit on April 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

It appears that Ed Morissey is too heavily influenced by Hollywood and Envirowhacko speak instead of science.

Hazardous does NOT equal Toxic.

Here are the classes of waste

Lethal
Toxic
Hazardous
Special

materials do not fall into any of the classes if they can be economically re-utilized in any manner. It is only when they are scheduled for disposal that such classifications are entered.

Kermit on April 30, 2012 at 12:24 PM

How much longer will it be before the real numbers come out about how much toxic/hazardous waste is produced when making a “green” hybrid/electric car?

TulsAmerican on April 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

TulsAmerican on April 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Only if spent materials cannot be reprocessed/reutilized. Petrochemical manufacturing actually produces less waste than “high tech”

Kermit on April 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM

There is not a POOP-SCOOP in the world large enough to go around behind these ginormous toxic turd producing Democrats and their fake environment conglomerates and regulators and enforcers…..

The moon bat environ-mental’s “CARE” about nothing but their big fat bank accounts and seizing as much control and power over every single aspect of our lives. They are miserable, selfish, people that would see us all pitiably poor and destitute with zero industry, zero population growth, zero freedom to even breath.

Where oh where are all the protestors? EPA? AL Gore, Michael Moore… Van Jones…. Uh how about the President of the United States of America… Mr Barack Husein Obama? When is this President going to be held responsible for anything? EVER?

Like those curly cue bulbs in your house? Well not only are they not economical but they are extremely TOXIC too! You think they care if one breaks in your house and your family and children end up with brain damage…. Uh… NO! THEY LIE! and they are in charge of practically EVERYTHING!

Millions and billions right into democrat bundler’s back pockets to take over all aspects of your lives… feel like a boiled frog yet?

ActinUpinTexas on April 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM

How much longer will it be before the real numbers come out about how much toxic/hazardous waste is produced when making a “green” hybrid/electric car?
TulsAmerican on April 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Sure, huge amounts of hazardous waste was generated from Solandra and lithium battery processing. On the other side of the equation, no power was produced, and there was no net energy savings either.

But lots and lots and lots of money was sucked out of the “evil capitalist pigdog” economy and funnelled to government cronies. So, from the Liberal Fascist point of view, this is a win-win-win scenario.

logis on April 30, 2012 at 12:50 PM

It appears that Ed Morissey is too heavily influenced by Hollywood and Envirowhacko speak instead of science.

Hazardous does NOT equal Toxic.

Here are the classes of waste

Lethal
Toxic
Hazardous
Special

materials do not fall into any of the classes if they can be economically re-utilized in any manner. It is only when they are scheduled for disposal that such classifications are entered.

Kermit on April 30, 2012 at 12:24 PM

And it’s apparent that someone didn’t bother to read the article before spouting off…

The Fremont Fire Department’s Jay Swardenski oversees the cleanup. He said some materials, such as cadmium, are toxic, and hard to dispose of.

Hmmm… there’s that word… “TOXIC” from the person in charge of cleanup, who is trained to know the difference.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Solyndra mis-labeled containers, why would you?

dominigan on April 30, 2012 at 1:08 PM

dominigan on April 30, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Been there done that for almost 30 years. In context those substances could be in milligrams and his could well be speaking in parts per billion.

Such materials are pretty common in “high tech” manufacturing.

It’s California, dude (or dudette), what do you expect from someone who is used to speaking in overblown terms?

Kermit on April 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

dominigan on April 30, 2012 at 1:08 PM

The outrage over tubes being thrown in dumpsters is certainly overblown and not in touch with reality.

Lots of things to consider such as patents, technology licensing, cost to sit on a shelf until someone resurrects this technology (which apparently is not successful), cost to handle, and ship to APPROPRIATE glass recycling facility, etc…

I’ve done such with hundreds of materials in dozens of manufacturing facilities of all types. It’s easy to be a pundit when you don’t have a clue.

The outrage should be solely directed at the government handouts, nothing more/nothing less. All other matters only sidetrack people in more moronic thinking and being anti manufacturing.

Kermit on April 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM

FYI, I like facts, not hype.

Kermit on April 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Hot reporter!

netster007x on April 30, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Jail time? And tie this tightly to the Barry and Joe show. Please…
-

RalphyBoy on April 30, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Ed, some of us real electronics engineers have been screaming about this since before “green” was “green”. We’ve been screaming about it regularly. Semiconductor production is generally a dirty process in terms of its highly toxic chemical waste products. It always has been.

The entire cost of “green” involves the both dollar and pollutant costs of the raw material acquisition process, the manufacturing process, the cleanup process, the distribution process, and every other step from raw material through consumer to post consumer waste. Every green technology you look at has tremendous costs when looked at this way.

“Green” ain’t green.

{^_^}

herself on May 1, 2012 at 6:07 PM