Efforts of Resource Recovery 3. Response to the future

3. Response to the future

Fig. 3-1 Electric appliances among municipal waste Fig. 3-2 Extracted printed circuit boards

The present Home Appliance Recycling Law targets only the four home appliances, while other home electric appliances are disposed of as domestic waste collected by municipal offices. Many of these digital home appliances, which are sometimes targeted for collection due to their rare metal content, are recovered and disposed of in this process. Verification tests were conducted on metal waste (each municipality has its own name.) of one municipal office. The component analysis on only the printed circuit boards showed the following results.
The data described above are based on a limited amount of materials. There was, however, 290g gold per ton, which is more than 10 times the amount compared with the content of circuit boards of televisions and air-conditioners. The silver content is also high. It shows the transition to lead-free solder alloys in digital home appliances that is in progress now. Nickel, antimony and bismuth are also confirmed; however, to economically recover them, a process to narrow down the parts needed to be recovered is required.

Table 3-1 Analysis value of printed circuit boards of municipal waste











The sale of new generation vehicles such as hybrid and electrical vehicles is rapidly increasing. A significant increase in the kinds and amount of rare metals used by the increasing manufacture of electrical products is expected. Especially, NdFeB Magnets are needed for car motors and need rare earth such as neodymium and dysprosium. Therefore, the discussion to ensure their availability has already started. This kind of magnet is also used for newer home air-conditioners and washing machines. At the present time few metals are recovered. This year public participation for grant-in-aid for technology development by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is being conducted. It is predicted that technology development by the manufacturers concerned will get into full swing.

2. Recovery of non-ferrous materials from home electrical appliances recycling
top of contents next
4. Recovery of rare metals except home appliance recycling