Repurposing for Resilience Eurobodalla
Repurposing for Resilience Eurobodalla [RfR] is a recently established working group of volunteers passionate about reducing waste and creating a circular economy.
RfR’s first pilot project sets out to prove feasibility for the reuse and repurposing of solar waste in our region. The group is working through operational requirements to establish the facility at the Moruya Transfer Station. This will provide a central location for the collection of used PV panels and associated solar waste, which will then be sorted into the following streams:
- Resale or Reuse – equipment tested and deemed as fit for manufacturers purpose will be put back into stream with test results and limited warranty, negating the risk associated with second hand purchases. Work will also continue to assist bushfire affected households with small off grid systems suitable for residential and agricultural needs.
- Repurposing or Upcycling – equipment identified as still functional and safe but no longer meeting manufactures specification. This equipment will be repurposed into items such as coffee tables, outside furniture, dog kennels, cladding etc. RfR is currently building a power tool trailer and coffee cart utilising discarded panels and solar waste. A local silversmith has also come on board making jewellery out of reclaimed waste. These goods will be on display and available for sale from both the facility and via an online shop on the RfR website.
- Recycling – equipment assessed as reaching its true end of life status and not suitable for repurposing will be partially deconstructed for scrapping of aluminium and stored for transport to IMR depots. The RFR intends to work toward developing a containerised small scale pyrolysis process for small batch recovery of raw materials from end of life panels.
The project will also incorporate an offsite training facility which will run much needed vocational and nationally recognised courses in the Eurobodalla region, including WHS Inductions, working at heights, test and tag, electrical pre-apprenticeship training, PV Solar and storage courses.
The two year pilot, funded by WWF Australia under its Innovate to Regenerate grant program, will also allow RfR to continue working on development of a user friendly field test unit for the industry.
RfR is looking to collaborate and work with a number of NFP and community organisations and work towards recycling of other components such as inverters and batteries. Although the RFR is currently primarily concerned with PV solar industry waste, we anticipate working towards small scale parochial solutions for other problem areas within the general waste stream.
RfR seeks volunteers interested in a wide variety of areas including marketing and promotions, accounts, administration, website and social media, processing work and sales. We are encouraging membership which can be purchased through our website for only $5, which entitles you to significant savings on any of our products.
RfR has established a website: www.rfreurobodalla.com.au and the beginnings of a social media presence via Facebook.