Breakthrough in PV module recycling

PV CYCLE achieves 96% recycling rate for silicon based PV modules

Brussels, February 18th, 2016 – PV CYCLE, the world’s first waste management program for all types of PV technologies, has today announced a new record in silicon based PV module recycling, achieving a 96% recycling rate in real-world performance.

The new process allows the recycling of silicon flakes, a combination of EVA laminate, silicon-based semiconductors and metals, in an economic and environmentally sound manner. The advanced process is currently being applied at one of PV CYCLE’s Europe-based recycling partners for silicon-PV modules.

“Our recent breakthrough in silicon-PV recycling is the result of both continuous improvement and intensive research and development along the value chain”, said Olmina Della Monica, Head of Treatment & Operations at PV CYCLE Association.

With today average recycling rates of 90% for silicon based (all recycling partners combined) and up to 97% for non-silicon based PV modules, PV CYCLE’s Europe business has already been exceeding both industry and WEEE standards.

“Thanks to our diversified recycling portfolio, PV CYCLE can offer economically viable solutions at the industry’s highest technological standards”, Mrs. Della Monica said.

All types of PV technologies are equally suitable for recycling. PV module recycling allows the recovery of various raw materials and helps conserve natural resources. Today, glass, aluminum, copper, plastics from the cables and junction box, certain semiconductors as well as silver can be recycled. Other materials such as EVA plastics go into energy recovery.

PV CYCLE is today the only scheme guaranteeing comprehensive recycling for all kinds of PV modules, including silicon, CdTe, CIGS and flexible modules. “Our recycling solutions go far beyond pre-treatment and the recycling of aluminum frames”, concluded Jan Clyncke, Managing Director of the PV CYCLE Association.

Note to the editor

For our year-to-date collection and recycling figures, click here. For info graphs and comparisons, click here.


PV CYCLE is a collective compliance and waste management scheme for WEEE and Battery products, with a special focus on solar energy system equipment. Founded in 2007 by and for the PV industry, PV CYCLE set the benchmark for PV waste treatment and is today’s clear leader in the sector. The organization offers its services throughout the world, including Europe’s biggest PV markets Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.