International Correspondents

Canon Invests 60bn Yen in Recycling Plant

On May 11th, Canon announced that its new printer toner and ink cartridge reprocessing plant had been brought on line. Canon invested 60bn yen in the new system which provides a 50% increase in throughput compared to its previous facilities. As a result, Canon is now able to extract, annually, up to 3,000 tonnes of reusable materials from business-related equipment and 150 tonnes from home-use equipment.

Licenced CC Flickr: Macroscopique solutions
Licenced CC Flickr: Macroscopique solutions

The new plant has been installed in Canon’s subsidiary firm, “Canon Ecology Industry Inc”, which was established in 2004 in Ibaraki prefecture as part of Canon’s efforts to increase resource productivity. The plant initially pulverises the cartridges, then extracts any iron, aluminium and other impurities, leaving granules of polystyrene resin that can then be reused within the production of new cartridges in Canon’s factories, also located in Ibaraki.

Canon Ecology Industry supports Canon Group’s published Environmental Assurance Philosophy which aims to promote a society based on “Kyosei” which is the “harmony between mankind and the Earth”. Its mission statement maps out the company’s two key activities: that of reusing or recycling components and materials from its imaging technology. The company describes itself as the group’s “vein factory”, since it functions in a similar way to a biological vein, transporting used materials (blood) to be purified before being recirculated.

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The Author

Colin Silvester

Colin Silvester

Colin was born in Portsmouth, England, and enjoyed his childhood in the natural beauty of the south coast countryside. He studied Computer Science at Hull University and it was during the summer break of his second year, in 1993, that he first travelled to Japan. There he completed a 3 month internship in KDD's AI research division. Curious to learn more about the country, Colin returned to Japan after graduating from Hull and was a “JET” (Assistant Language Teacher on the “Japan Exchange and Teaching” programme) for 3 years in the suburban prefecture of Saitama. Colin then spent a short time at JAC Recruitment until he decided to return to his core profession of IT, joining Bloomberg in Tokyo. After 3 very enjoyable years there, Colin joined a small US telecommunications company, IPC Information Systems, shortly after it established its direct presence in Tokyo. After 12 very informative years (which included 2 years spent at IPC's headquarters in New Jersey), Colin returned to JAC Recruitment, where he is now CIO, responsible for the company's overall technology strategy.

Outside of work, Colin enjoys squash and cycling, touring Japan on his Triumph motorbike, drumming and also DIY. Colin has long been passionate about minimising the impact of humans on the environment and in 2010, Colin and his family realised their dream when they moved into their newly built “eco-house” which Colin and his wife designed with the help of Sumitomo Ringyo. The house is highly energy efficient through extensive use of the latest insulation technology, gas filled glass, LED lighting (approximately 80% of the house uses LED) and 4.1kw of solar panels and as a result, the house is a net producer of electricity.

Colin's long term ambition is to build and run a “British pub” in the fantastic surroundings of the mountains in Nagano!

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