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September 20, 2023 | Tom Ballard

UK start-up focused on recycling solar panels

Verdant Beneficiated Resources is a critical materials recovery company focused on turning the millions of tons of electronics waste generated each year into a new Kentucky industry.

Three members of the University of Kentucky (UK) family have launched an ambitious new start-up company that they hope will build upon Kentucky’s proud energy legacy.

Jack Groppo, Zebulon Hart and Lucas Bertucci are Co-Founders of Verdant Beneficiated Resources, a critical materials recovery company. Its mission: turn the millions of tons of refuse generated across the nation each year, including electronics waste, into a new Kentucky industry.

Verdant spun out of industrial waste utilization and electronics recycling research and development taking place between the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and the Department of Mining Engineering in the UK Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering.

According to this news release from UK, the first waste product the Verdant team is looking to process is solar panels. Though businesses and individuals have been installing solar panels at record rates across the nation, there is currently no common plan for end-of-life solar panels. More than 90 percent of panels are not currently being recycled and usually end up in a landfill, a practice that has the potential to introduce harmful materials into the environment.

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