2,100 Tons of CFCs Recovered Under Japan's Appliance Recycling Law in 2011
Jun 14, 2012
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All appliance manufacturers/importers in Japan exceeded their recycling mandates in 2011, according to yesterday's status report on Japan's Home Appliances Recycling Law results from fiscal year 2011.

The status update came from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of the Environment. Home appliance types affected by the law are refrigerators and freezers, TVs (CRT, LCD, and plasma-screen), air-conditioners, and washers and dryers.

The report showed that 16.80 million units were collected under the law - a decrease of 39.4% from FY 2010.

Of the four appliance types affected by the law:
* air-conditioners accounted for about 14% of the total or approximately 2.34 million units
* CRT TVs were 47% or about 7.87 million units
* LCD and plasma TVs accounted for 3% or about 600,000 units
* refrigerators and freezers accounted for 17% or about 2.84 million units
* clothes washers and dryers accounted for 19% or about 3.15 million units

Air-conditioner collection showed a decrease of 25.5% , CRT TVs were down 54.7%, LCD and plasma TVs were down 8.4%, and refrigerators and freezers were down 16.4%. Washers and dryers showed an increase of 0.5%.

Still, the report said all manufacturers and importers successfully achieved a recycling rate greater than the legal requirements.

The recycling rates for the four types of designated waste home appliances were:

* air-conditioners: 89% against a legal requirement of 70%
* CRT TVs: 79%, against 55%
* LCD and plasma TV: 83%, against 50%
* Refrigerators and freezers: 79%, against 60%
* Washers and dryers: 87%, against 65%

Compared to 2010:
* the air-conditioner recycling rate increased 1%
* the CRT TV recycling rate decreased 6%
* the LCD and plasma TV recycling rate increased 4%
* the refrigerators and freezers recycling rate increased 3%
* the washers and dryers recycling rate increased 1%

The recycling process is designed to recover materials such as iron, copper, aluminum, glass, and plastic.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used as coolants in air-conditioners, refrigerators and freezers, and even laundry appliances, as well as CFCs in thermal insulation in refrigerators and freezers, were recovered and destroyed.

The amount of CFCs recovered and destroyed was:
* 1,466 tons of CFCs used as coolants in air conditioners
* 282 tons of CFCs used as coolants in refrigerators and freezers
* 421 tons of CFCs from thermal insulators in refrigerators and freezers
* 2 tons of CFCs used as coolants in clothes washers and dryers

The recycling law requires that:
* consumers appropriately dispose of waste units and pay recycling fees
* retailers collect waste units from consumers and transport them to manufacturers or importers
* manufacturers and importers receive collected units from retailers at the designated sites and recycle them at home appliance recycling plants

Fiscal 2011 data on the recycling by individual home appliance companies is available at the OEM web sites.

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