Solar Panels Alternative ways to recycle Illegal in Garbage & Drains Hazardous Waste Never Toss or Dump Illegally Solar panels contain heavy metals such as silver, copper, lead, arsenic, cadmium and selenium. Don’t throw them away or dump them because they can leach toxic chemicals into the environment. Treat Broken Panels as Hazardous Waste Broken pieces must be cleaned up and properly packaged to minimize the potential escape of hazardous materials. Contact the solar panel manufacturer for detailed instructions on cleanup and disposal. Alternative Ways to Recycle Return to the Manufacturer Contact the manufacturer of your solar panels to see if they have a program for recycling or refurbishing old panels. Did You Know? Solar Panels a Toxic Problem for Landfills? California has had incentive programs for home solar panels dating back as far as 2006. Now these panels are nearing the end of their life, and without a clear way to recycle them, many are ending up in landfills. Read more from the LA Times.