Goal is to be "a general environmental company" through materialization, productization and energy supply related to waste

(Industrial Waste Close-up 2009.01)

TAKEEI CO., LTD.

Outline of TAKEEI Co., Ltd.

Representative : Mamoru Mitsumoto, President
Head Quarters : Davinci Shiba Park A-10 Floor, 2-4-1 Shiba-Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Founded : March 7, 1977
Capital 3,274 million yen
Employees : 582 persons

Introduction

The recycling rate of construction waste, by and large, has been advancing due to the implementation of the Construction Waste Recycling Law and others. However, it is said that various wastes generated from demolition or modification works and such, have still been landfilled without being recycled.

Under such a situation, a representative company who actively works on recycling of construction waste is TAKEEI.

TAKEEI who mainly handles construction waste substantializes an integrated management system covering from collection and transportation to recycling and final disposal.

Also TAKEEI is developing a wide-ranging business such as the development of various recycled products and raw materials by building a network with many companies related.

TAKEEI has been positively involved in global warming prevention issues and in November 2008, and made the engagement of “Eco-first pact” with the Ministry of the Environment as a front runner of the business.

This time, JW interviewed Emiko Tsutsumi, senior adviser, and Junko Umezawa, group manager of corporate planning department about TAKEEI’s business activities (Photo 1)as well as issues related to overall construction waste.

From the left to the right, Emiko Tsutsumi, senior advisor and Jyunko Umezawa, group manager in charge
Photo 1. From the left to the right, Emiko Tsutsumi, senior advisor and Jyunko Umezawa, group manager in charge

TAKEEI’s major facilities and affiliate companies

TAKEEI has plural facilities of intermediate treatment and final disposal, and carries on recycling business and such, having close coordination with group companies (Table 1 & 2).

Table 1. TAKEEI’s Major facilities
TAKEEI’s Major facilities

Table 2. Representative affiliate companies
Representative affiliate companies

Interview

Basic policy for business approach

Q: Let us know your basic policy for business approach to recycling and proper disposal.

A: Thinking of the principle of material cycling, the basics of recycle starts from source separation at a generation site. Once waste has got mixed, recycling becomes difficult due to foreign materials attached, even if separation is applied. For this reason, we always ask a generator to carry out source separation at a generation site as much as possible, and we do support a generator as well. However, under present circumstances, unfortunately we frequently receive waste in a mixed condition. In an intermediate treatment facility, we carry forward recycling as much as possible, while some are so tough to recycle that we are forced to subject them to proper disposal.

Q: Thanks to the implementation of the Construction Waste Recycling Law, recycling rate reaches as high as 87.5% all in all. Do you think that it is still of great significance to further promote recycling?

A: Since concrete and asphalt which are subject to the Law have high specific gravity, the generation amount on weight base is overwhelming. Thus, their high recycling rates sufficiently contribute to the increase of overall recycling rate. Whereas in case of other construction wastes, due to their low specific gravity, their generation amounts are very small on weight base so that they are likely to be underestimated in spite of their large volume. It is significant to further promote recycling to reduce the generation of mixed waste that may be liable to improper disposal or landfilling.

Q: Are collection systems and recycling technologies of source-separated waste available nationwide?

A: Even though waste is sufficiently separated at a generation source, it won’t yet be enough. In recycling, it is necessary to develop a distribution system wherein a separated waste is collected and integrated into a large lot, and then transported to a recycling facility. Under present circumstances, however, there are still so many hurdles to cross over.

Management for specific wastes

Q: How about the contents of recycling of mixed construction waste? What about the recycling rate?

A: The domestic average recycling rate of construction mixed waste is from 9% to 36%. We recycles up to 85% of received wastes through thorough and fine separation of mixed wastes. In the future, as set forth in the Eco-first pact, we set out to achieve 90% by 2012. Recycling has two ways; materials recycle (return to material), and thermal recycle (heat recovery). WE have a slogan “We place priority to materials recycle”. Along this slogan, we carry out various research works.

Q: How about the present state of the recycling of waste wood?

A: We devote a lot of efforts to supply solid fuels made of waste wood, and of paper and plastics (RPF) to biomass power generation (thermal) which is evaluated as useful not only for material recycle but also for prevention of global warming. Particularly, in 2004, we established “New Energy Supply Co., Ltd.” jointly with more than ten companies of the same business in order to carry out efficient collection of waste wood chips and RPF. And also, we established “Circulating Resources Co., Ltd.” to deal with tasks related to storage function, quality control, and stable supply. The main business of these two companies is to work out through the year for the stable supply of biomass solid fuels made of wood chips and RPF to “Green Power Ichihara Co., Ltd. that was established in 2004 and has started its operation in 2006. The said company is the largest biomass power facility of 50MW in Japan and sells power to The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. based on “Special Measures Law Concerning the Use of New Energy by Electric Utilities”. A biomass power generation scheme is thus successfully incarnated by these 3 companies.

Q: As for material recycling, do you have any recycled products using your unique technology?

A: Dusts generated in treatment processes in our facility have been formerly landfilled. However, “Eco-foam” (Photo 2 & Figure 1) wherein waste plastic and wood, and dust are mixed and pelletized has been jointly-developed by our company and Nippon Steel Corporation and it is consumed several tons per day as iron-making supplemental material (foaming inhibitor for a converter).

Recycling of collected dust (“Eco-foam”)
Photo 2. Recycling of collected dust (“Eco-foam”)

Production process flow of eco-foam
Figure 1. Production process flow of eco-foam

Q: How is waste asbestos treated currently? Furthermore and what kind of plan do you have for the treatment of waste asbestos in the future?

A: As for waste asbestos, at present we are forced to ask generators or wreckers to landfill them. To do so, waste asbestos must be subject to segregation and double packing at a generating site in compliance with the Waste Management Law.
However, landfilling has almost nothing to do with the detoxification of such waste and thus the high hazardousness of such waste is not virtually changed at all. We and Obayashi Corporation jointly established “Eco-plant Co., Ltd.” in October, 2008 and are working on the development and commercialization of a lesser costly detoxifying treatment using melting technology.

Q: There are many opinions that gypsum board should be recycled. How do you deal with it now?

A: The disposal of waste gypsum board by landfilling has a risk of hydrogen sulfide generation so that its recycling should be promoted. 9 companies including us and Yoshino Gypsum Co., Ltd. have jointly established GYPRO Co., Ltd. specialized in recycling of waste gypsum board in 2002. In order to expand this service nationwide, we jointly established Green Arrows Holdings Co., Ltd. with Daiei Kankyo, Daiseki Eco. Solutions Co., Ltd., Yoshino Gypsum Co., Ltd. and major construction companies, and we are now preparing for the start of our business.

Challenges for the future

Q: Regarding construction wastes, what kind of approaches will you take in the future?

A: We think that technology development is the key for promoting the recycling and proper treatment of waste. A material-cycle society cannot be created without devoting our extensive energy to the development of recycling technology. We are ready to do so along with collaboration efforts in the future.
Furthermore, in order to make use of technologies developed in a treatment site, it is important to consolidate a supply chain from entrance to exit. Based on a basic policy for material recycling that “materials are to be collected into a large lot and be recycled along with characteristic features of materials”, “through source separation”, “sorted collection” and “consolidation of a supply chain with lodgment” are to be further promoted in collaboration with generators, management businesses and recycled products users. In this context, the advancement of recycling with enhanced efficiency and reduced cost is a great challenge to be tackled with.

After the interview

The generation quantity of waste related to construction work is about the half of that related to civil engineering work. Even so, the annual quantity of generation reaches 29 million tons (in 2005). “Construction related waste has many generation sources and thus are likely to be discharged in a wide variety and a small scale within a short period of time”. For this reason, it is important to develop a total system which includes the four points, “sorted discharge”, “supply chain system”, “development of recycling technology” and “securing product markets”. The above is what they believe.

The goal being pursued by TAKEE is to be “a general environmental company” who not only treat construction waste but also supply recycled raw materials and products, and new energy by taking advantage of synergy effects of collaboration with affiliated companies.

Prices hike in resources and energy, strengthened countermeasures against the global warming issue, and disposal cost increase in these years have offered a wind-wing situation for recycling. Even so, efforts by individual company alone have limitations.

In the interview, they talked about the importance of consolidation of a supply chain for the creation of a material-cycle society. What they pointed out is quite convincing. Inclosing, it shall be noted again that the slogan, “Being mixed it is waste, while being sorted it is resources” works out virtually when a supply system is consolidated.

(Reported by Seiwa and Obayashi, JW)