Appliance Recycling Center Established in China by Panasonic Joint Venture
Jun 3, 2011
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Panasonic Corp. (Osaka) was one of four firms that formed a jointly held company in China to recycle home appliances and electronics.
The new company, called Panasonic DADI DOWA Summit Recycling Hangzhou Co., Ltd., will be based in Hangzhou, China. It was formed by Panasonic along with Hangzhou DADI Environmental Protection Engineering Co., Ltd., (Hangzhou City); DOWA Holdings Co., Ltd. (Tokyo), and Sumitomo Corp. (Tokyo).
New laws in China became effective on Jan. 1, 2011, requiring the collection, processing, and management of waste electrical and electronic products. The ordinance applies to TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, air-conditioners, and personal computers.
Economic growth and enhanced consumption of consumer durables in China has also resulted in a growing volume of waste appliances and electronics. In the province of Zhejiang, with about 50 million people, 2.9 million units of waste home appliances were collected in a 12-month period during 2009 and 2010.
Panasonic Hangzhou DADI will collect all five types of regulated home appliances from collection companies. It will disassemble them using advanced recycling technologies and facilities and sell recycled materials to refining companies, plastics recyclers, and manufacturers.
Panasonic will be the first Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer to enter the Chinese recycling market.
Panasonic will provide recycling technologies and equipment developed in its recycling business in Japan, such as:
• laser separation technology and dry scrubbing equipment for CRT glass used in TVs
• compressor separators for refrigerators and air-conditioners
• technologies for recovering copper coil
• technologies for collecting refrigerator insulation materials containing fluorocarbons.
Panasonic will also be responsible for gathering information on equipment procurement, production management, and improvement of the working environment, including implementation of the "Five S" concept of workplace organization:
• Set in order
• Shine or Clean
• Sustain or Discipline
Hangzhou DADI will cover information gathering on the related laws and regulations and the recycling market, including collection and recycling-related companies, as well as negotiations with the government authorities to obtain approvals and permits. It will also build systems and routes sufficient to generate the volume of waste home appliances needed to ensure business viability.
DOWA Group will operate the new recycling plant, drawing upon experience from its operations in Japan and China.
Sumitomo will collect information on the global recycling industry as well as market trends and prices that will help sell recycled materials.
Panasonic Hangzhou DADI is expected to start operations in spring 2012.
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