Wind turbine blades are difficult to recycle because of their massive size and durable material. One company is the first in the U.S. to shred the blades so they can be used as fuel in cement-making. Other researchers say the blades can be reused as bridges, cellphone towers, or fencing.

As America installs more wind turbines, a new waste problem is growing. The massive blades have to be replaced every 20 years — and sometimes more often if they break or need upgrades. And most of them end up in landfills. Wind energy is growing faster than any other type of renewable energy, according to 2021 data.

But to reach net-zero emissions of planet-warming gases, global capacity still needs to double — which could mean a tsunami of turbine waste. Figuring out how to recycle it now could save a major headache down the road. Veolia — a waste, water, and energy management company — is trying to do just that. It gets the blades from GE Renewable Energy. They travel from all over the U.S. to the town of Louisiana, Missouri.

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Author: Elizabeth McCauley, Katie Nixdorf, Yahoo! Finance
Image: Sam Paakkonen, Yahoo! Finance