It is estimated that, of all the renewable energy sources, solar energy has the biggest potential, and solar panels are increasingly frequent in Serbia as well. However, it should be known that solar panels can only be used for around 30 years, after which they can be considered hazardous waste, as they contain cadmium and mercury, but they can also be recycled.
As the Ministry of Environmental Protection told eKapija, there is no special landfill in Serbia for this kind of waste, and according to the information available to the ministry, the City of Pozarevac has been addressed by the future investor in the area of landfilling and recycling of solar panels
– This kind of waste can be recycled, as, according to the Law on Waste Management, the producer and/or the owner of the waste are obliged, after obtaining the Report on the Examination of Waste, to hand the waste over to the operator that has a license for managing that type of waste. The list of operators that have the permits for the collection, transport, storage, treatment or reuse or disposal of waste are in the register of the issued permits, which can be found on the website of the Environmental Protection Agency at www.sepa.gov.rs – the ministry says for our portal.
Serbia has considerably more sunlight hours than most of the rest of the European continent, between 1,500 and 2,200 a year, so the popularity of solar panels, as the most significant means of using RES, is not surprising.
As the ministry says, if solar panels can no longer be used, they are considered waste, which needs to be handled by the producer or the owner, in line with the pertinent regulations.
– The owner and/or other handler of waste, according to Article 27 of the Law on Waste Management, is responsible for all the costs of waste management. The costs of disposal are handled by the owner and/or other handler who directly hands over the waste to a collector or a waste management facility, and/or the previous owner and/or other handler or producer of the product in which the waste originates. The responsibility and the obligations of the owner and/or other handler of waste are also upon the person taking part in the flow of waste as an indirect handler, which practically does not own the waste. The transfer of waste can only be carried out between legal entities or entrepreneurs which run the documentation in line with this law – the ministry points out.
The disposal of waste meant for recycling is banned in Serbia, and for a waste to be disposed of at a landfill, it needs to have a reference in the Report on the Examination of Waste, issued by the accredited laboratories for the the examination of waste.