Repost from Yahoo Green
Panasonic highlights Japan's innovative appliance and electronics recycling
In 2001, Japan began enforcing its home appliance law, requiring manufacturer takeback, and since then the country has racked up some impressive numbers: 55% of television monitors are recycled; 50% of refrigerators; and 60% of household air conditioners.
Panasonic opened the Eco Technology Center in the Yashiro Science Park outside Osaka in 2001. "In the past several years, Japan has shifted from a society based on bulk production to one that is recycling oriented," said its director, Kazuyuki Tomita. The company calls it "treasure hunting."
One million appliances are recycled per year at the center, and that means 113 tons of iron (equivalent to 138,000 cars), 17,251 tons of copper (equivalent to 69 statutes of the Great Buddha of Nara), and 9,804 tons of aluminum (equivalent to 85 jumbo jets). Some 4,000 TVs are processed every day. The center isn't a profit center, but it gets revenue from recycling fees collected from consumers and from the sale of all that raw material. More..