How wind turbine blades could find new life in bus shelters and bike parks

  • Living
  • Saturday, 23 Oct 2021

After around 20 years of service, wind turbine blades could well be recycled into urban furniture. Photo: AFP

Wind turbine blades have a lifespan of about 20 years. After that, they are dismantled and most of the time buried in landfill. The Re-Wind Network project intends to recycle them to create urban furniture.

To do this, the group has assembled a research team comprising experts from City College of New York and the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States, and University College Cork and Queen's University Belfast in Ireland.

Together, they are looking for alternative ways to intelligently recycle these wind turbine blades. Indeed, the steel and polycarbonate elements of these blades could very well be recycled, sometimes in surprising ways.

The very first construction was made in Aalborg, Denmark, in the form of a dramatically designed bicycle park. In the long run, the Danish government hopes to encourage this initiative in order to limit the amount of waste produced by wind turbines.

Today, Re-Wind has come up with nearly 50 different concepts for reusing these blades, from bike parks to bus shelters and from footbridges to noise barriers.

In Ireland alone, many wind farms will have to be renewed by 2025, which will require the recycling of many blades. Re-Wind is now working on several projects to make use of these gigantic metallic structures.

The team is even studying the possibility of using them to make a skatepark, proving that wind turbine blades can effectively have a second life rather than being consigned to landfill. – AFP Relaxnews

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