May 27, 2005
Home appliance manufacturers announced their data on recycling of home appliances for FY 2004 through their respective web-pages (available in Japanese) today. The Association for Electric Home Appliances also announced data on the status of nationwide recycling of home appliances (available in Japanese).
The Law for the Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances (referred to as the "Home Appliance Recycling Law"), enforced in April 2001, promotes proper disposal by consumers, collection from consumers and delivery to manufacturers by retail shops and recycling by manufacturers with regard to the designated four post-consumer use home appliances (air conditioners, television sets, refrigerators and washing machines).
For FY 2004 (April 1, 2004 - March 31, 2005), the number of post-consumer use home appliances collected at designated collection sites totaled 11.22 million units nationwide (7.2% increase compared to FY 2003), while the total number of such appliances delivered to the 44 designated home appliance recycling plants numbered 11.21 million units (6.6% increase). Insofar as one would expect that consumers usually discard old appliances when they buy new ones, an increase in the number of collected post-consumer use home appliances while there is an increase (4% increase compared to FY 2003) in shipments of new products suggests that the Home Appliance Recycling Law is in fact taking root through the understanding and support of consumers.
In the course of the recycling process, iron, copper, aluminum and glass were recovered from discarded home appliances delivered to recycling plants, and the recycling rate surpassed the legal standard. In addition to this, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are used as refrigerants for air conditioners and refrigerators, were recovered and destroyed. Also, CFCs contained in insulation materials of refrigerators or freezers have been recovered and destroyed since FY 2004.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment will further promote efficient implementation of the Home Appliance Recycling Law through surveys and analysis of its enforcement on the basis of the above data.