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*This site introduces Panasonic's home appliance recycling plant in Japan, which is engaged in material recycling under the Japan's Home Appliance Recycling Law.

Q.01
Does PETEC only recycle Panasonic products?
Q.02
From where do the home appliances for recycling come to PETEC?
Q.03
How many products does PETEC recycle?
Q.04
What is the recycling rate?
Q.05
What makes PETEC different from other recycling plants?
Q.06
What technologies and methods were developed by PETEC?
Q.07
Are there products made of the materials recycled at PETEC?
Q.08
What happens to the wastes that cannot be recycled?
Q.09
How are materials sorted?
Q.10
PETEC also recovers fluorocarbons. How are they processed?
Q.11
What local environmental measures does PETEC take?
Q.12
Can I bring products directly to the plant since I live near PETEC?
Q.13
Is there anything I should be aware of, regarding recycling, when disposing an item?
Q.14
Why can't we just throw away end-of-life products?
Q.15
Will manufacturers accept products if I call?
Q.16
It would be convenient if I could also dispose of the TV stand along with the TV for recycling.
Q.17
I have heard of home appliance recycling tickets. What are they?
Q.18
Is it possible to check if the product I disposed of has been recycled?
Q.19
Do you recycle end-of-life computers?
Q.20
How much is the recycling fee?
Q.21
I have heard that additional items started to be recycled. What are these new items?
Q.01
Does PETEC only recycle Panasonic products?
A.01
Products by other manufacturers are also recycled.
Home appliance manufacturers (including importers) are divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. PETEC recycles products manufactured by Group A, which includes 24 companies (as of April 1, 2009) such as Panasonic, Toshiba, Victor Company of Japan, Daikin Industries, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Corona and LG Electronics.
Q.02
From where do the home appliances for recycling come to PETEC?
A.02
Based on the Home Appliance Recycling Law, which came into effect in April 2001, PETEC recycles products manufactured by Group A companies (see Q.01), which are collected by retailers and gathered at "designated collection sites" in the Kinki region's six prefectures.
Q.03
How many products does PETEC recycle?
A.03
PETEC processes approximately 700,000 units of TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators/freezers and washing machines annually.
Q.04
What is the recycling rate?
A.04
The recycling rate is the percentage of materials recovered from end-of-life products. It can be counted for recycling rate only by leveraging further as parts or materials for new products, or by making the materials available to handover for value or for free to those who will use it as parts or raw materials again. Thus, the recycling rate standard of the Japanese Home Appliances Recycling Law should be extremely strict compared with world's other recycling laws. The recycling rate is usually calculated based on the weight, but the Japanese Home Appliance Recycling Law stipulates a minimum recycling rate of 50% for flat-panel TVs, 55% for CRT TVs, 70% for air conditioners, 60% for refrigerators, and 65% for washing machines/clothes dryers. At PETEC, whose goal is "from products to products," we are able to maintain recycling rates that are higher than those enacted by the law. It has much to do with the technologies of splitting the CRTs of TVs, finely separating the copper and aluminum of heat exchangers and sorting mixed plastics.
Q.05
What makes PETEC different from other recycling plants?
A.05
There are five recycling lines, and PETEC is striving for zero waste by developing recycling technologies for each product.
Also, we have an R&D Division in the facility and pass on the research to the manufacturing of products that are easy to recycle. From the construction stage, the plant was designed as "a facility that could accommodate tours," and we set a tour route on the second floor out of consideration for visitors' safety. The facility is also used as a training site for researchers of Panasonic and its group subsidiaries and an environmental education site for the public, such as groups of elementary and junior high school students.

Home appliance recycling lines identified by four colors

Q.06
What technologies and methods were developed by PETEC?
A.06
For three years before starting the plant operation, PETEC conducted research and applied for various patents. We were the first to introduce and put into practice technologies and methods for rapidly splitting CRTs, crushing compressors at ordinary temperature, finely separating the copper and aluminum of heat exchangers and sorting mixed plastics by the eddy current separator.
Q.07
Are there products made of the materials recycled at PETEC?
A.07
Yes. For example, the glass from TV CRTs is used as glass for new CRTs. The plastic recycled from washing machines is reused for the bottom-frames of washing machines and the plastic from refrigerators can be reused as refrigerator components.

The bottom frame of washing machines made of PP resin recycled from end-of life washing machines

Q.08
What happens to the wastes that cannot be recycled?
A.08
PETEC specializes in the recovery of materials that can be recycled.
We outsource the treatment of the wastes that cannot be recycled as materials to the specialist companies, and the wastes are disposed of appropriately.
Q.09
How are materials sorted?
A.09
After products are finely crushed, we use various technologies and special machines to sort precisely, based on their characteristics, such as specific gravity, wind force magnetism, eddy currents, centrifugal separation and so on.
Also, air conditioners are dismantled by block, according to the type of material and then processed. TV CRTs are removed by hand and then crushed, cleaned, and sized in the sound-proof room.
(For details, please refer to "Home Appliance Recycling")
Q.10
PETEC also recovers fluorocarbons. How are they processed?
A.10
PETEC recovers fluorocarbons used as refrigerant in air conditioners and refrigerators. The fluorocarbons in sealed cylinders are passed on to a fluorocarbons processor and there rendered non-toxic. Also, in the recycling process of refrigerators, insulation is crushed in a sealed room, and then the CFC which are used in foam insulation are absorbed by activated charcoal after crushing the insulation. The CFC is delivered to the CFC processor in sealed drums and there rendered non-toxic.
Q.11
What local environmental measures does PETEC take?
A.11
Since sound-proof rooms and vibration-damping equipment are used at the plant, there are no problems concerning noise.
Dirt collecting equipment is used in the plant so that a clean environment is maintained. The recycled materials are sorted in the warehouse. Drainage water is passed through the water processor and then released into the sewage system. Moreover, we regularly exchange ideas with the community through the Environmental Conservation Committee.

Vibration-damping equipment

Q.12
Can I bring products directly to the plant since I live near PETEC?
A.12
At the time of disposal, please contact the retail store where you purchased the product. If you are purchasing a replacement, the store will take the old one. If you are moving, the local government will take it. (Since some local governments will not accept products, you need to consult with the nearest local government.)
Q.13
Is there anything I should be aware of, regarding recycling, when disposing an item?
A.13
Unfortunately, we sometimes find food, garbage and things like other appliances in the refrigerators and washing machines when they arrive at PETEC. Please check carefully to make sure such items are cleared.

Refrigerator brought to PETEC that contained food

Q.14
Why can't we just throw away end-of-life products?
A.14
Since it is difficult to incinerate TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines from households, most of them were disposed of in landfills. However, there is little space left to dig more landfills, especially in the Tokyo area and Kinki regions, and it is considered that the current disposal system will end within a few years. Additionally, some home appliances contain a large amount of resources. If home appliances that have been thrown away to date are recycled, we can recover resources and reduce waste at the same time. In doing so we can conserve landfill sites.
Q.15
Will manufacturers accept products if I call?
A.15
To request collection of products, please talk to the retailer from where the goods were purchased, the store where you purchased the new item if you are replacing, or the local government if it collects.
Q.16
It would be convenient if I could also dispose of the TV stand along with the TV for recycling.
A.16
There are only four product categories that fall under the Home Appliance Recycling Law: TVs (flat-panel and CRT), air conditioners, refrigerators/freezers and washing machines/clothes dryers. So, under the law, we cannot handle the recycling of "products other than these four" or "attachments" such as of TV stands, stand for outdoor air conditioning units and dryers.
Q.17
I have heard of home appliance recycling tickets. What are they?
A.17
The home appliance recycling ticket is the original data that shows that a product has been properly processed so that end-of-life products provided by consumers will not be thrown away during the process. Whenever products are delivered to the next step, retailers, designated collection sites, and then recycling plants like PETEC, a copy of the management slip is taken and kept for three years.
Q.18
Is it possible to check if the product I disposed of has been recycled?
A.18
If you enter the recycling number on the Home Appliance Recycling Ticket Center website (Association for Electric Home Appliance, Japanese only), it is possible to check. It is also possible to check it by calling the retailer to whom you consigned the product. They can trace it from their copy of the management slip.
Q.19
Do you recycle end-of-life computers?
A.19
For details, please refer to "Environmental Efforts Related to Computer" (Japanese only).
Q.20
How much is the recycling fee?
A.20
Refer to the following site for information on each manufacturer's fee.
Q.21
I have heard that additional items started to be recycled. What are these new items?
A.21
Starting April 1, 2009, flat-panel TVs and clothes dryers will be added. For details refer to "Recycling Flat-panel TVs and Clothes Dryers".
*This site introduces Panasonic's home appliance recycling plant in Japan, which is engaged in material recycling under the Japan's Home Appliance Recycling Law.