A transatlantic research network is finding ways to repurpose decommissioned wind turbine blades as footbridges. As the government scales up wind farm development, the challenge of disposing of turbine blades when they reach the end of their lives is gaining urgency. Turbine blades are primarily made of glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) composite materials. They are non-biodegradable and designed for a service life of 20 to 25 years.

University of Cambridge researchers estimate a cumulative total of 43M.t of waste blades will be generated worldwide by 2050. To date, the wind energy industry has favoured low cost disposal including landfill and incineration, but these methods are increasingly seen as environmentally unacceptable.

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