HOME >> E Waste Recycling in Japan

Japan started treating electronic waste differently from other wastes in the 1970s. Due to the high cost of labor recycling, most municipalities resorted to landfill treatment, which can be a problem for any country. Since 2000,Japan has speeded up the standardization for promoting recycling. Three main recycling laws have been enacted for households.


Law for the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources
This law came into effect in April 2001. It was promulgated in 2000, as an amendment to the Resource Recycling Promotion Law which enacted in 1991.
The law is to promote integrated initiatives for the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). It designates the industries and product categories where businesses are required to undertake 3R initiatives, and stipulates the details of voluntary actions that they should take. Ten industries and 69 product categories have been designated.
Law for Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances
The Law for Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances (Home Appliance Recycling Law)was established in June 1 998 and became effective in April 2001. The law applies to four categories of home appliance: air conditioners, televisions, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines and clothes driers.
Under the RHA, the responsible for e-waste collection and recycling are transferred from the municipalities to the manufacturers. Consumers must pay recycling fees when they dispose the four categories of items. Retailers shall, at the request of consumers, take back the four categories of home appliances it sold, and deliver them to the manufacturer-furnished collection sites. Manufacturers shall recycle all e-waste transported by retailers.
When recycling, manufacturers shall meet minimum recycling rate requirements. These rates are: 70% for air conditioners, 55% for televisions(50% for LCD/Plasma televisions), 60% for refrigerators/freezers, and 65% for washing machines/clothes driers. “Recycling rate” means weight of materials recycled divided by weight of units processed for recycling.


Act on Promotion of Recycling of Small Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
This law took effect April 1, 2013. It covers more than 100 items, including game consoles, digital cameras, and mobile phones. Almost all small home electronic and electric appliances are covered except fluorescent lights and electric bulbs.
The Environment Ministry estimates that each year households throw out about 650,000 tons of small electronic and electric appliances. Most of them have been buried in landfills. The law was expected to partially mitigate the problem of illegal dumping and export of used electronic and electric appliances.
Municipalities may choose the items it will collect and the ways to collect such items. Unlike Home Appliance Recycling Law, the law does not require consumers to pay recycling fees.
Necessary Equipment for E-waste Recycling
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