Japan working towards protecting environment by recycling waste products

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Published: July 3, 2015 4:05:32 AM

Protection of environment is the main thrust of modern times. And, Japan is contributing its best to protect the environment by recycling the waste.

Protection of environment is the main thrust of modern times. And, Japan is contributing its best to protect the environment by recycling the waste.

In Japan’s Saitama region, ORIX Corporation operates a waste processing facility that enables 100 percent recycling.

“ORIX Group was started as a leasing company. We conduct a wide range of leasing businesses and we process large amount of end-of-lease items appropriately every year. From this experience, we accumulated knowledge and know-how to develop a solution, to adopt the increasing regulations to the processing of waste in Japan,” said Kiyoshi Maekawa, President, ORIX Environmental Resources Management Corporation.

ORIX Environmental Resources Management Corporation began with intermediary service to help the customers in leasing the waste processing needs.

The facility processes general urban waste including household waste in addition to industrial waste. This processing facility is a public facility managed under the ORIX leadership.

It is operated as a Private Finance Initiative project with Saitama Prefecture. It is a method of utilizing private sector financing and expertise to produce public facilities.

“This is the zero emission facility. It is capable of 100 percent recycling of waste (that) we accept for processing,” said Maekawa.

This facility regenerates power source from 70 percent of the waste using the gas produced during melting the waste products at a temperature of 2,000 °C.

The gas is refined and used to fuel a power generator and surplus electricity is sold to a power company.

The rest of the 30 percent of waste passes through various processes to be reused as resources such as material for asphalt, metals and industrial salts.

“The utilization of the renewable energy attracts people’s attention, as the Global Warming becomes a huge current issue. Literally, we operate our waste processing facility by the renewable energy produced from the waste. We are looking to advance into the new market of waste processing industry in Asia, by utilizing our expertise of the technology in environmental and energy fields,” said Maekawa.

JFE Engineering Group is also engaged in the recycling business of a wide range of items from industrial waste to general urban waste.

The fluorescent lamp recycling factory is contributing to solve the environmental problems by properly collecting mercury.

Mercury has been used in a fluorescent lamp. It will adversely affect the health when incorporated into the human body. It brings the nervous system and liver to disorders.

Mercury pollution has a circulation on a global scale because it is easily vaporized, and the biological concentration by food chain has been a problem. It is important to handle Mercury carefully to not discharge to the environment.

“JFE Kankyo Corporation started the fluorescent lamp recycling business in 1994, In order to response to a request of the proper disposal of fluorescent light from our customer company. Now we’re recycling about 4,500 tons of the fluorescent lamps per year for the entire group,” said Teruo Tatefuku, General Manager, JFE Kankyo Corporation.

JFE Kankyo Corporation is processing a quarter of the approximately one million tonnes of industrial waste that is incinerated in the Tokyo Bay industry area, along with about 80 percent volume reduction of the waste that has been conventionally landfilled.

In addition, it regenerates electrical energy from the heat obtained by burning waste with extremely high efficiency and has recycled as a valuable resource such as iron.

“The collected waste fluorescent lamps are sorted for each variety then charged into an automatic processor. It cuts the metal base cap first, and then removes the fluorescent powder. The glass and the metal base is crushed and collected respectively for each variety. In this way, the mercury that cause environmental problems are implemented to recover from the fluorescent powder properly,” said Tatefuku.

Industrialization has rapidly advanced in the fast-growing regions in Asia.

Proper disposal of industrial waste has become a pressing issue. JFE Group leverages the recycling technology and is working on the recycling business overseas with a focus on Asia.

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