As a result of being a mass production, mass consumption and mass disposal society, we now face many problems such as the depletion of resources and increasing waste. The Kubota Group is involved in initiatives to reduce wastes and recycle resources at its business sites in Japan and implementing initiatives globally to give form to a recycling-based society.
In RY2016, the waste discharge amount was 106 kilotons, a decrease of 8.8% compared to the previous reporting year. Additionally, the waste discharge per unit of sales improved by 5.7% compared to the previous reporting year. The decrease in waste discharge is mainly due to the reduction of production volume at cast iron production sites in Japan. We are continuously promoting thorough sorting of wastes and separating valuable resources out of wastes.
*1 Landfill disposal = Direct landfill disposal + Final landfill disposal following intermediate treatment
*2 Waste discharge per unit of consolidated net sales.
Waste discharge = Resource recycling and Volume reduction + Landfill disposal
The resource recycling ratio in RY2016 was 98.1% in Japan, down 0.1 points compared to the previous reporting year. On the other hand, the recycling ratio overseas was 87.3%, a 2.8 points improvement compared to the previous reporting year, due to the efforts such as promoting recycling of casting dust, etc.
* Recycling ratio (%) = (Sales amount of valuable resources + External recycling amount)÷(Sales amount of valuable resources + External recycling amount + Landfill disposal) × 100.
Starting in RY2013, heat recovery has been included in external recycling volume. The resulting difference compared with the previous method that did not include heat recovery is minor.
* The amounts of resource recycling after treatment, volume reduction, and final landfill disposal were the results of surveys conducted by outside intermediate treatment companies.
Kubota Agricultural Machinery (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (China) developed a system to remove sludge of the painting booth water tanks, with the aim of reducing the amount of waste discharge.
Before this development, sludge removal for the four water tanks of our painting booth had to be conducted separately for each tank using chemicals, and the water of the tanks had to be entirely thrown away and replaced once or twice monthly.
Thus, in February 2015 we started examining a system that would help reduce the frequency of changing the tank water, and in November the same year, we introduced a circulatory system using a collective water tank. In this circulatory system, water of the tanks of each painting booth is sent to a newly installed collective water tank, in which sludge removal is collectively conducted, and the water after sludge removal is sent back to each painting booth.
The introduction of this system reduced the frequency of changing the tank water to once a year, resulting in the reduction of approx. 500 tons (estimated value) of water disposal annually, which is approx. one-sixth of the amount before the introduction of the circulatory system. The system has also enabled automatic sludge removal without suspending operation of the paining equipment, thereby improving efficiency of work.
We will make continued efforts to further reduce the waste generation and improve work efficiency.
Waste generated from construction work depends on the type of work being done, and the discharge can differ between orders, meaning that the recycling and reduction ratio fluctuates. However, Kubota maintains a high recycling and reduction ratio for specific construction materials.
* Recycling and reduction ratio = [Sales amount of valuable resources + Resource recycling (including heat recovery) + Volume of reduction] ÷Amount of construction waste, etc. discharged (including sales amount of valuable resources) x 100 (%)
Until RY2015, the resource recycling ratio (referring to the Calculation Standards of Environmental Performance Indicators) was calculated. In RY2016, we adopted a new calculation method in which we calculate the reduction volume in accordance with the Promotion Plan for Recycling of Construction Waste 2014 (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) and determine the recycling and reduction ratio.
The result of conventional calculation for RY2016 is 99.2% for the special construction materials, and 87.6% for the entire construction waste, etc.
Transformers, capacitors and other equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) are properly reported, stored and handled based on the Japanese Act on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes and Japanese Waste Disposal Law. Waste with high-concentration PCB is being disposed of steadily, beginning with sites for which acceptance at PCB treatment facilities are available. Waste with low-concentration PCB will be properly disposed of by the disposal deadline of March 2027.
Although PCB-containing waste in storage is being controlled in accordance with the relevant laws, a case of inappropriate disposal of equipment containing low-concentration PCB was found in 2016. We implemented necessary countermeasures and are working to prevent recurrence.