China, Japan co-op in e-waste recycling plant

Updated: 2011-05-31 10:01
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HANGZHOU -- An electronic waste recycling company, jointly funded by Japan's Panasonic, Sumitomo, DOWA Group and China's Hangzhou Dadi Environmental Protection Co Ltd, will be built in East China's Zhejiang province, local authorities said Monday.

Located in Tonglu county under the jurisdiction of Hangzhou city, and built at a cost of 121.7 million yuan ($18.8 million), the Panasonic Dadi Dowa Summit Recycling Co Ltd will focus on the collection and recycling of discarded home appliances, including television sets, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and computers.

The construction of the plant will begin in June, and the project is expected to be able to recycle 500,000 to 1 million discarded home appliances per year after its completion in January 2012, said Katsuyuki Mikawa with Panasonic, who will be the general manager of the new company.

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Mikawa added that the Japanese companies would bring advanced technology and managerial experience to the joint venture in order to provide an environmentally friendly and energy efficient project.

Both Panasonic and Dadi hold 35 percent of the shares of the company, While DOWA and Sumitomo hold 18 percent and 12 percent of the shares of the firm, respectively.

E-waste refers to electronic products nearing the end of their "useful life." Computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, copiers and fax machines are common electronic products. Some E-waste contains toxic materials which can cause severe environmental pollution if not properly handled. At the same time, the e-waste can be turned into useful materials after refurbishment and extraction.

Electronic waste is becoming an increasingly pressing problem in China with the surging of the sales of electronics. It is estimated that the country will be producing more than 6 million tons of electronic discards in 2020.

The central government has been encouraging recycling and centralized treatment of e-waste. A regulation issued by the State Council, China's Cabinet, has been in place since Jan 1 to ensure better management of e-waste recycling.