As China’s economy grows, so does its electronic waste, with its residents using their newfound prosperity to upgrade their electronics and appliances.
To help tackle the country’s e-waste problem, Panasonic recently announced it will establish a recycling factory for home appliances and electronics in Hangzhou, China. Located along the southeast coast of the country, Hangzhou is the capital of the Zhejiang Province, where 2.9 million waste electronic products and appliances were collected in 2009-2010 among its population of approximately 50 million residents, according to Panasonic. Panasonic expects the amount of e-waste in the region to only increase.
Panasonic will be the first Japanese consumer electronics manufacture to enter the Chinese recycling market, the company says. It will jointly open the facility with three other companies including a Chinese waste collection and processing company and a Japanese electronics recycling company.
Set to open in spring 2012, the facility will collect used home appliances and electronics including televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and computers. The factory will disassemble the products, using advanced recycling technologies, and sell recovered materials to refining companies, plastics recyclers and manufacturers.
The new facility will comply with China’s e-waste recycling law, which went into effect on January 1, Panasonic says. To promote the safe and proper disposal of e-waste, the law requires that e-waste facilities obtain a permit, be equipped with pollution treatment controls and cannot import e-waste for recycling.