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Building a Recycling-based Society

Environmental Management
Sustainability Report 2007
1. Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing (2)
Building a Recycling-based Society
Along with minimizing the generation of waste, we are working to recycle waste as far as is possible. We are active in building a recycling-based society, by utilizing waste plastic from the community.
Reducing Waste and Promoting Recycling
In 2006, the Kobe Steel Group generated approximately 4.67 million tons of byproducts, of which 98.4% came from the Iron and Steel Sector.

At steel works we have accelerated the recycling of slag and dust generated in steel-making processes. Since 1992 a comprehensive Action Program to Recycle Waste has been formulated for all plants and works, to promote waste reduction and recycling.

Recycling rates for 2006 were 95.1% for all of Kobe Steel's manufacturing facilities and 94.4% for Group companies overall.

In 2006 there was some disposal of dust and other materials stored for later recycling that proved difficult to recycle. The total amount of final disposal (landfill) waste from the Kobe Steel Group was 220,000 metric tons.

Further efforts will be made in the future to reduce waste generation through developing new recycling technologies.
Waste Generation by Sector (including Group companies)
Total byproducts in 2006: 4.67 million metric tons
Waste Generation by Sector (including Group companies)
Volume of Waste, Recycled Volume & Recycling Rate (Non-consolidated)
Volume of Waste, Recycled Volume & Recycling Rate(Non-consolidated)
Voluntary Action Programs
Voluntary Action Programs in Industry
Industrial sector
(Trade association)
Iron and steel
(The Japan Iron and Steel Federation)
1. By 2010, reduce quantity of final disposal of slag, dust, and sludge to 75% of 1990 levels, to about 50,000 metric tons.
2. Bring recycling rate of steel cans up to 85%.
(Japan Aluminium Association)
1. By 2010 cut quantity of final disposal to about 7,000 metric tons.
2. By 2010 recycle more than 99% of aluminum dross residual ash.
Rolled copper
(Japan Copper and Brass Association)
Cut quantity for final disposal to below 3,000 metric tons by 2010.
Industrial machinery
(The Japan Society of Industrial Machinery Manufacturers)
Boost recycling rate of waste products to 10% more than 1997 levels.
Zero Emission Activities
Since 1997, Kobe Steel has been promoting zero-waste emission activities to eliminate the final disposal volume of waste at works and plants.
Iron and Steel Sector
Recycling of waste materials
At the Kakogawa Works we are aiming for a zero-emission facility. Efficient use is made of used refractories, waste oil, sludge and other byproducts. Dust is turned into cement material, and sludge with a low iron content is used for ornamental bricks. We have also developed a recycling technology for dust with high zinc content, which was previously difficult to recycle. At eco-stations, we collect and separate glass bottles, aluminum cans and other materials.
Recycling Rate (Kakogawa Works)
Recycling Rate (Kakogawa Works)

Slag Recycling
Kobe and Kakogawa works generate approximately 2.10 million metric tons of blast furnace slag and approximately 900,000 metric tons of converter slag annually. Both blast furnace slag and converter slag are recycled into cement material, roadbed material and other uses.

In particular, blast furnace cement made from powdered slag is more effective than regular cement in controlling the alkali-aggregate reaction. It can also save energy during cement production and emit less CO2. Customers highly value these qualities. Moreover, fine aggregate for concrete made by adjusting the particle size of granulated blast furnace slag is used as a substitute for natural sand, contributing to environmental protection.
Granulated slag yard
Granulated slag yard
Examples of products made of Shinko Sand


Waste Plastic Recycling
In addition, Kakogawa Works also accepts waste plastic collected not only in the works but also from outside in accordance with the Container and Packaging Recycling Law. Kakogawa uses the waste plastic as a reductant in the blast furnaces.

Because chlorine deteriorates the blast-furnace refractory and corrodes steel, only low-chlorine waste plastic was used until recently. In April 2004, the first commercial dechlorination facility for removing chlorine in waste plastic was completed. The new facility makes it possible to use more than 75% of the waste plastic as a reductant. The chlorine removed is turned into hydrochloric acid, which is used in the pickling line.

In fiscal 2006, Kakogawa Works recycled approximately 5,700 metric tons of waste plastic.
Waste Plastic Disposal Flow
Waste Plastic Disposal Flow

Coal Ash and Sulfur Oxide Recycling
Nearly all the coal ash generated from coal-fired boilers is recycled as cement material and composite roadbed material.

Through a reaction with coal in the exhaust gas desulfurizer, the sulfur oxide in the exhaust combustion gas is utilized efficiently to make gypsum.

Dust Recycling
Dust generated at the steelworks is collected by dust collectors. Nearly all the dust is recycled. Low-zinc dust is used in sintering and pelletizing. High-zinc dust is turned into cement material.

Electronic Manifest at Kakogawa Works
Manifests have been drawn up to clarify the responsibilities of contracted industrial waste disposal firms. At the Kakogawa Works an electronic manifest system was installed during 2006 for more precise manifest monitoring.

Fly Ash Recycling
At the Kakogawa Works, in order to utilize fly ash generated from the coal-fired boilers, pelletizing equipment, which makes steam-cultivated spherical pellets called ashstone, was installed. Currently, ashstone is utilized as a road material.

In December 2005 ashstone was registered with the New Technology Information System (NETIS), a system for utilizing technologies in public works projects.
Welding Company
At Fujisawa Industrial Operations, waste materials are carefully separated for disposal and activities to recycle resources are also promoted. One example of this is sets of four color-coded containers-white, blue, yellow and orange-used for separating different types of waste paper. Container sets are located in each workplace within the plant, and employees can see at a glance how to dispose of waste paper. The standardized approach means that employees can dispose of paper correctly and without confusion, wherever they go in the plant. The cost of waste disposal has been reduced as a result. Refuse containers for separate waste collection
Refuse containers for separate waste collection
Aluminum and Copper Company
The Moka Plant has installed two melting furnaces for scrap, improved the yield ratio during melting, and reduced the volume of impurities (aluminum dross) during aluminum melting. Furthermore, the plant operates two arc furnaces to improve the recovery rate of aluminum dross. The remaining ash, as a result of R&D efforts, is effectively recycled as cement material. Most of the residual from aluminum dross is no longer disposed as landfill, resulting in a recycling rate of 92.4% in fiscal 2006.

At the Chofu Works an arc furnace is in operation for recovering aluminum dross and efforts have been made to recycle copper sludge, a material that was previously found difficult to deal with. The recycling rate for fiscal 2006 reached 99.9%.

At the Daian Plant waste oil is carefully separated according to quality, and outside contractors are used for incineration, thermal recycling or material recycling.
Arc furnace at Chofu Works
Arc furnace at Chofu Works

Recycling center at Chofu Works
Recycling center at Chofu Works
Recycling Rate at the Moka Plant
Recycling Rate at the Moka Plant
Machinery and Engineering Company
At the Harima Plant, we succeeded in recycling waste cleaning fluid, grindstone dust, grinding dust, and weld fume, and in March 2006 we began recycling controllers and filters. Controllers, demisters, and intake filters are made up of many different materials and were thought difficult to recycle, but by taking them apart and sorting the materials, steel is recycled as a metal resource, and waste plastics are used to make cement. We are also more thorough about separating plastic and wood scrap generated in the plant. Filters

Waste plastic for use in cement
Waste plastic for use in cement
Measures Implemented by Group Companies
Company Location of plants Measures implemented
Shinko Wire Company, Ltd. Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture Recycling rate boosted by better separation of waste and recycling of sludge.
Kobe Special Tube Co., Ltd. Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi prefecture Amount of wastewater sludge reduced by sun drying. Amount of wastewater sludge cut by reducing quantity of acid used in pickling process.
Kobe Welding Wire Co., Ltd. Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture Improved cleanability of pH electrodes in neutralization tank has eliminated excessive use of chemical agents and reduced sludge from neutralization process.
Shinko Metal Products Co., Ltd. Kita-Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture Volume of waste generated and waste disposed in landfills reduced by recycling glass and ceramics.
Shinko Engineering & Maintenance Co., Ltd. Harima-cho, Hyogo Prefecture Waste sorted and recycled separately.
Measures Undertaken at Overseas Companies
Kobelco Compressors (America) Inc. (KOCOA) manufactures and sells screw compressors at its plant in Indiana, USA.

The cutting operations in compressor manufacturing generate a mixture of steel dust and machining oil. These are separated in a centrifuge. The resulting oil is used in the plant, while the steel dust is sent for use in another plant.

Through this process, 10% of the machining oil used in the manufacturing process is recovered for recycling.
Centrifuge for separating steel dust and machining oil
Centrifuge for separating steel dust and machining oil

Steel dust
Steel dust

Management of Steel Slag Products
Steel slag, a byproduct of steelmaking, has many uses. It can be used to make cement, as a substitute for natural sand, or as a material in civil engineering and harbor construction. It contributes to the protection of the global environment by conserving natural resources and reducing the generation of greenhouse gases.

Manuals are available on manufacturing control and sales administration of steel slag products. After a processing defect due to insufficient ageing was discovered in recycled roadbed material shipped between January and March 2000, manuals were checked against guidelines issued by the Nippon Slag Association and re-issued. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that customers can use our products with complete peace of mind.