(Olympia, WA) -- A bill requiring Washington State University to study how feasible it would be to recycle wind turbines passed the Washington State Senate Monday by unanimous margin 48-0. SB 5287 would task WSU to look into how the enormous turbines could be recycled. This as opposed to simply burying them in landfills when the blades have reached the end of their usable life.

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Right now, the blades, which can range up to 170 feet wide and last 20 years are cut into pieces and buried. The bill's sponsor, State Senator Jeff Wilson (R-Longview) says he's concerned about the waste the turbines leave, along with the burden on Washington State landfills and just who will take charge of the blades as they're being disposed of.

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Senator Wilson says “This is a responsible step in the management of our wind generation systems,” he said. “What are we going to do with the thousands of used wind turbine blades when they reach the end of their life cycle? Simply burying these giants in our landfills is not acceptable, given our commitment to the environment. This bill provides the opportunity to explore the potential to manufacture and recycle these components right here in Washington, expanding job creation in the green energy sector.”

As Washington State continues to build more wind farms, Senator Wilson says the concerns about just how to properly dispose of wind turbines will continue to grow. This especially as older turbines are retired. He notes that wind power was the second-largest contributor to Washington State's power supply in 2021. It's expected to be more than that in the coming years.

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