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Fwd: JAPAN: World's First Zero Waste Paper Plant

Apologies for Cross-Postings.  Thanks to Michele Raymond for this exciting 
report from Japan!

Gary Liss

>From: raymond@mx1.mailzeen.com (Michele Raymond)
>Subject: JAPAN: World's First Zero Waste Paper Plant
>Date: Fri,  8 Aug 2003 17:31:53 -0500 (CDT)
>This is the Recycling Policy NewsBriefs Email Bulletin for Raymond 
>Communications, Inc. College Park MD, publishers of State Recycling Laws 
>Update and Recycling Laws International. All material copyright 2003, 
>Raymond Communications; permission to forward with credit.
>August 7, 2003
>Special thanks to our sponsor, Foresite Systems Ltd. -- software to handle 
>complex recycling fees worldwide http://www.foresite.org
>Dear Susbcribers:
>Below please find a glimpse of Japan's "high-tech" recycling efforts -- a 
>new  $150 million paper recycling plant.  I toured it recently on my trip 
>to Tokyo.
>World's First Zero Waste Paper Recycling Plant
>Copyright 2003 Raymond Communications
>By Michele Raymond
>KAWASAKI, JAPAN -- An industrial-looking channel ending a small pond in 
>front of the new Corelex paper recycling plant in Kawasaki near Tokyo 
>Japan features several healthy gold fish.
>Visitors are told right out: “The smoke house (a small attractive round 
>wood structure) is used for parties ­ the fish are living in the plant’s 
>discharge water..”
>         Indeed, the $150 million Corelex plant, built with the help of 
> government loans, is the first “zero waste” paper recycling plant in the 
> world, according to its developers.
>         Unlike many paper plants, which struggle over “stickies” and 
> landfill growing mountains of sludge, this new plant can easily take all 
> manner of mixed paper, binders, paper with plastic clips, metal parts, 
> and aseptic poly-coated paper with no problem. The only waste product is 
> some ash, which is used for filler in a concrete product by another plant 
> nearby.
>         The key, according to Tetra-Pak’s environmental engineer Robert 
> Kawaratani, is the system soaks the income paper for longer periods that 
> a standard hydra-pulper. In Japan, the government requires such plants 
> getting help to become educational labs, complete with classrooms and 
> tours for children of all ages.
>         The Corelex plant has a built in classroom, numerous colorful 
> brochures for children, as well as several videos that explain the whole 
> process. However, unlike many commercial plants with glassed-in areas, 
> visitors receive a genuine tour of the entire facility.
>         The baled material ­ ranging from poly-coated cups from Tokyo 
> Disney to boxed confidential documents from big companies, are fed 
> directly into the pulper in a lump, then swelled while being matured to 
> facilitate ink separation.
>         The material goes into a large tower where it is soaked for 12-14 
> hours.  A rake system at the bottom pulls pulp out of the tower, and 
> screens out contaminants. The equipment was designed by the San-Ei 
> Regulator company.
>         The pulp is de-inked, sterilized, and bleached with hydrogen 
> peroxide. The sludge is passed through a screw press to squeeze out much 
> of the water, then  burned in a boiler at 800-900 degrees C. The energy 
> from burning the sludge and the polyethylene from the aseptic material 
> create energy to help run the plant.
>         The material passed into a huge tissue maker, which runs a mile a 
> minute.
>         The plant can handle 250 tons per day but runs at 220 tons per 
> day, making 150 tons of toilet paper daily.  It cannot get enough of the 
> higher quality aseptic feedstock, he says.
>         The rolls are case in plastic, then palletized by robots for 
> strorage. However, the product must be de-palletized and manually loaded 
> because they don’t fit onto Japan’s small delivery trucks.
>         The plant runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a staff of 
> about 100.
>Collection: Different than US
>         Unlike in the U.S., where there is almost no recycling of 
> consumer polycoated and polystyrene, Japanese grocery stores collect 
> these two materials, along with PET bottles, though they are only paid 
> for the polycoat material, Kawaratani explains. Consumer carefully rinse, 
> then disassemble the cartons so they lie flat. “It’s easier to store them 
> tat way when you don’t have a lot of space,” he explains.
>         Based upon a voluntary agreement, PET bottles are all clear to 
> facilitate recycling, though they have shrink-wrap labels.  Many bottles 
> are square to save space.
>         Each prefecture and local government collects differently, but 
> Kawaratani says there is no single-stream collection. He notes that 
> federal figures show that for fiscal year 2002, 30.63 million tons of 
> paper were consumed, and 20 million tons were collected for recovery.
>         About 62% of PS foam is collected, though about 25% is recycled 
> materially ­ the balance going for feedstock recycling and energy recovery.
>         While federal figures indicate a 14% recycling rate, sources say 
> that when business recycling is counted, Japan is now sending about 30% 
> of its waste for recycling and recovery nationwide.
>To unsubscribe, go to:

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485 

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