Initiatives toward creating a recycling-based society

Recycling End-of-Life Products

Recycling Four Kinds of Home Appliances

The recovery and recycling of four kinds of home appliance are mandatory under Japan's Home Appliance Recycling Law*: air conditioners, televisions (CRT, LCD and plasma), refrigerators/freezers, and washing machines/tumble dryers.

In 1999, Mitsubishi Electric started operating the industry's first home appliance recycling plant, Hyper Cycle Systems Corporation (HCS). Between then and fiscal 2018, we recycled 790,000 tons of appliances. Recovery and recycling data for Mitsubishi Electric appliances of the four designated types in Japan in fiscal 2018 are shown below.

  • *Home Appliance Recycling Law (April 2001): This law obliges retailers and manufacturers to recover and recycle home appliances such as air conditioners, televisions, refrigerators, and washing machines. Manufacturers and importers must recycle steel, copper, aluminum, glass, plastic, and other materials, and are also responsible for setting up systems to recycle their own products. The law was amended in December 2008 to add tumble driers and LCD and plasma televisions.
graph: Recycling of Four Kinds of Mitsubishi Electric Home Appliances in Japan

Mitsubishi Electric holds Environmental Design Technology Seminars to showcase technologies developed at its recycling centers and see how they can be applied to everyday product design. Developing technologies for sorting materials recovered from end-of-life home appliances and techniques applicable to recycled materials also increases the amount of recycled material that can be used in our products.

Results of Recovery and Recycling of Four Kinds of Home Appliances (Fiscal 2018)

Units Air conditioners Televisions Refrigerators
Washing machines
/Tumble dryers
CRT LCD/Plasma
From collection points 1,000 units 378 77 47 370 165 1,040
Units processed 1,000 units 375 75 45 366 164 1,028
Weight of materials processed Tons 15,320 1,815 877 22,391 6,246 46,650
Weight recycled in products Tons 14,483 1,387 788 17,890 5,810 40,359
Recycling ratio % 94 76 89 79 93 -

Recycling Personal Computers

Mitsubishi Electric promotes recycling of end-of-life personal computers and monitors. In fiscal 2018, we recovered a total of 5,484 office and home computers, with recycling ratios above statutory targets.*1

We started using the PC Recycle Mark*2 verification logo to show that end-of-life home computers can be disposed of without charge. Customers must request the mark after purchase for some products, but the procedure is very simple and involves nothing more than sending a postcard or applying via our site.*3 For products sold after October 2003 where the customer asks us for disposal, we check if the product is eligible for the PC Recycle Mark to make sure the customer does not pay the recycling fee twice.

Although preventing data leaks from hard drives during disposal of personal computers is essentially the user's responsibility, our subcontracted recycling agents do all they can to prevent data leaks, for example punching holes in hard drives and exposing them to strong magnetic fields to ensure physical and magnetic destruction. For office computers, we offer a paid service where customers can ask for all data to be erased by specialized software before recovery.

  1. *1 Desktop computers: 50% or more
    Notebook computers: 20% or more
    CRT displays: 55% or more
    LCD displays: 55% or more
  2. *2 PC Recycle Mark: The recycling mark stipulated by industry group PC3R Promotion Association, established to promote the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) among manufacturers, distributors, and importers of computers and monitors. The scheme applies to home computers and monitors sold after October 2003. Some products have the mark displayed at the time of purchase, or it may be available after purchase via registration.
  3. *3 Mitsubishi Electric stopped selling home computers in fiscal 1999, so only our PC displays are eligible for Recycle Mark applications.

Results of Recovery and Recycling of End-of-Life Business and Home Computers (Fiscal 2018)

Units Desktops Notebooks CRT Displays* LCD Displays Total
Weight recovered Tons 0.4 0.1 25 25 50
Office Home Office Home Office Home Office Home Office Home
0.3 0.1 0.0 0.0 2.1 23 2.5 23 4.9 45
Units recovered Units 46 28 1,182 4,228 5,484
Office Home Office Home Office Home Office Home Office Home
34 12 18 10 101 1,081 418 3,810 571 4,913
Weight processed Tons 0.4 0.1 25 25 50
Weight recycled Tons 0.3 0.0 17 21 39
Recycling ratio % 82 68 70 86 -
  • * Including all-in-one computers.