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Ministry slashes some recycling fees

Date Posted: 2007-08-24

Pleas for help in dealing with a rising volume of illegal dumping of broken appliances, computers and televisions have been heard, and the Ministry of the Environment and Economy and the Trade Industry have agreed to help.
The Ministry says it will immediately reduce the recycling fees for televisions and household electrical appliances in hopes the move will spur more consumers to return the outmoded appliances to the dealers. Buyers already pay a recycling fee built into the purchase price of televisions or appliances, but thousands of products are being illegally dumped around Okinawa instead of handed back to dealers.
Electronics manufacturers will be asked by the Ministry of Environment and Economy to financially support new recycling measures. The current system has local municipalities responsible for cleaning up trash and abandoned appliances, but cities, towns and villages say they have no budgets for handling recycling cleanup. The Ministry says it will send the new recycling rules amendment to the Cabinet within the next year, so it can be transformed into new rules.
Consumers must now pay 2,700 to legally dispose of a television, 4,600 for a refrigerator, 2,500 for an air conditioner and 2,400 for a washing machine. The fee for dumping an air conditioner was reduced from 3,000 in April. The alternative is for the consumer to return the goods to the retailer, but officials say only half the appliances are actually returned, while the other half are dumped.

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