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An international project aimed at reducing waste to zero

Concern with waste has been mounting recently. The age of one-way disposal through incineration and burial is passing and giving way to the age of a recycling economy. With battery usage increasing year by year, there is also the problem of battery disposal. Based on a long track record of battery disposal, TOHO ZINC recycles small rechargeable batteries.
This is a zero emissions program that does not produce waste.

Annual battery usage tops 20 batteries per person

Batteries are familiar as the power source for many of the electric products that surround us. In Japan, approximately three billion batteries are sold each year. That means that annual battery usage is more than 20 batteries per person. Moreover, demand for batteries is likely to continue increasing as society progresses in the years ahead.

Batteries contain lots of valuable metals

Batteries contain many valuable metals such as zinc, nickel, cadmium, and cobalt. It is worthwhile to recover these metals, but mistakes made in handling them could lead to environmental problems.

Turning mountains of trash into mountains of treasure

Accordingly, we draw on our metallurgical technology of long standing and experience with battery recycling to recover useful metals from used batteries collected from society. It is a complete recycling system in which nothing is thrown away. We hope you will make use of it.

Recycling of Small Rechargeable Batteries

In 1990, TOHO ZINC started recycling the valuable rare metals nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd) contained in Ni-Cd batteries and alkaline batteries as a recycling business for used Ni-Cd batteries. At present, TOHO ZINC plays an important role as a member of the small rechargeable batteries recycling system organized by the Japan Portable Rechargeable Battery Recycling Center (JBRC).
Collected small rechargeable batteries are put through a resource recovery process of separation by type of battery, disassembly/separation, and heat treatment. The Ni raw material (Fe-Ni) is sent to stainless steel manufacturers. The Cd raw material is used as a raw material in Cd processed goods and is ultimately sold to Ni-Cd battery manufacturers.


  • A zero emissions system that does not produce waste.
  • Batteries are collected free of charge through the JBRC's recycling system.

Performance and History

1990 With the cooperation of the Battery Association of Japan, the Onahama Smelter and Refinery in Fukushima Prefecture started recycling of Ni-Cd batteries. Today it recycles approximately 50% of these used batteries in Japan.

Small Rechargeable Batteries Processing Collection Contact and Plant

Contact Environment and Recycle Business Division
1-8-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8207, Japan
TEL: +81-3-6212-1708
FAX: +81-3-3284-1523
Plant Onahama Smelter and Refinery, TOHO ZINC CO., LTD.
10 Aza Yoshihama, Onahama, Iwaki-shi, Fukushima 971-8101, Japan
TEL: +81-246-54-4111
FAX: +81-246-92-3924

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