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Solyndra is gone, but the toxic waste lives on

By Doug Powers  •  April 29, 2012 10:18 PM

**Written by Doug Powers


When $535 million taxpayer dollars are vaporized so quickly, you know there must be some pretty strong chemicals still lingering about.

As you read this keep in mind that the whole pitch for projects like Solyndra revolves around “clean” energy and saving the environment — which is harder to take seriously every time the term “solar waste” is used to describe the potentially dangerous aftermath:

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 a tedious process. Slowly but surely, the shattered remains of brand new solar panel tubes head to a recycling plant in Hayward.

Meanwhile the next phase of the company’s liquidation is under way. It involves getting rid of all the heavy metals left inside the building that were used to make the panels.
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.”

The building’s owner, a company called iStar, claimed in court documents, “there may be serious environmental, health and safety issues” at the premises. According to the documents, they include, “numerous containers of solvents and chemicals… and processing equipment contaminated with lead.”

“Essentially it looks like they left a pretty big mess behind,” San Jose State Assistant Professor Dustin Mulvaney told CBS 5.

So why not double down? In this case they call it “green” energy because that’s what color your physical aura will be if you come into contact with noxious byproducts of the production the cleanest, most environmentally-friendly merchandise on the planet.

News video from CBS5 in San Francisco:

(h/t HAP)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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