Recycling Rare Earth Magnets
The recycling of rare earth magnets from wind turbines is of great importance but is also highly practical. A 3MW wind turbine can use up to 2.7 tonnes of rare earth magnetic material (23). Ironically this is precisely why wind turbine magnets are not a major problem. In these quantities it is highly advantageous and economic to recycle magnets from wind turbines. The real problem with rare earths is in the vast number of tiny magnets in throw away electronics such as mobiles phones, earphones and computers that cannot easily be extracted from waste electronics material (24) (25) (26).