13,000 tons of used dry-cell batteries, 8,000 tons of used fluorescent lamps and 6,000 tons of other mercury wastes are collected each year from all 47 Prefectures of Japan and treated at Itomuka Plan
Ever since the inception of our company in 1973, we have been treating and processing various types of mercury wastes, including dry-cell batteries and fluorescent lamps, based on our advanced mercury-refining technology. Each year, we treat a total of 27,000 tons of mercury waste— of which used dry-cell batteries account for 13,000 tons and used-fluorescent lamps account for 8,000 tons. The remaining 6,000 tons of waste is comprised of other mercury-containing products (i.e. measuring devices such as thermometers, sphygmomanometers and manometers and vaccinations that include thiomersal) and mercury-contaminants (i.e. mercury-contaminated soil).
Furthermore, our work supports the industrial sectors of Japan. For example, we have been commissioned by non-ferrous metal refineries to treat their mercury-containing sludge. Here, we remove the mercury from the sludge and send back the mercury-free sludge which contains precious metals such as gold and silver.
We import and treat mercury-containing waste from the Philippines and Taiwan, in accordance with the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. By importing and treating waste from abroad, we contribute to the mercury waste treatment processes of other countries.
- Taiwan: over 3,200 tons of mercury waste collected and treated *1
Since 2006, we have been treating and processing imported dry-cell batteries, button cell batteries and HID lamps from Taiwan. Initially, our main area of work was with dry-cell batteries. However, nowadays, we receive more button cell batteries and HID lamps, which have higher levels of mercury concentration. To date, we have treated over 3,200 tons of mercury waste from Taiwan.
- Philippines: over 60 tons of used fluorescent lamps collected and treated *2
We treat used-fluorescent lamps that are collected from Japanese companies situated in the Philippines. Our work started in 2002 and since then, we have been collecting around 5~10 tons of fluorescent lamps each year. Thus far, over 60 tons of fluorescent lamps have been collected.
In order not to limit our involvement in the Philippines to Japanese companies, we are currently in the process of developing an intermediate fluorescent lamp processing system for local companies. By working hand in hand with local companies who would crush the lamps on their premises, this system would reduce inefficiencies by only requiring the remaining mercury waste to be sent to Japan for final treatment.
*1 As of June 2014 (from 2006 onwards)
*2 As of June 2014 (from 2002 onwards)