The time has come to inspect the enforcement of Japan's Food Recycling Law and a discussion paper around this was compiled in July 2013. Within the paper, there are two main areas: ① Contributing to economic growth through food waste reduction (Reduce) and ② Activation and creation of a regional recycling industry that focuses on use of food wastes (Recycle). The paper reveals directions in which the study of a future food recycling system might go. Along with presenting the progress of such movements throughout the world, this paper introduces the current situation in Japan, which includes efforts by the private sector and the national government regarding food loss and waste reduction.
The recycling of food waste generated from food-related business operators has steadily progressed within the food manufacturing industry since the enactment of the Food Waste Recycling Law. However, food waste discharged from the “downstream” of food distribution is still being disposed of in large quantities despite the fact that it can be recycled and used in manure or feed. On the other hand, where household food waste is concerned, only a small portion is being recycled while most gets incinerated. The growing trend of methane gasification for household food waste is also attracting attention as it can increase the sale of electricity and greenhouse gas emissions are low. With the Food Waste Recycling Law as the background, this article provides an outline of the current status and future outlook on food waste recycling being promoted among business operators dealing in food. It also introduces efforts being made by the Ministry of the Environment with regard to the promotion of waste biomass utilization such as household food waste.
Utilization of biomass, such as food waste, is one of the important challenges in the attempt to realize low-carbon, sound material-cycle societies. However, biomass, especially municipal solid waste biomass, is not used so much because it is discharged in bits and pieces from a wide range of sources and is therefore difficult to collect and transport. In light of this situation, the Food Waste Recycling Law is being reconsidered with the aim of reducing food wastes while also accelerating food waste recycling. With this as its background, this paper introduces the progressive initiatives recently happening in the city of Kyoto with regard to utilization of waste biomass and regional technology research in areas such as Biogas and crushing/sorting systems.
The garbage biogas electric generation center that opened in July, 2013 in Nagaoka City is the nation's largest municipality-run garbage disposal plant (handling 65 ton/day). The plant is an advanced model plant, which means it can perform methane fermentation with garbage collected in Nagaoka City. It also uses biogas for methane fermentation to generate electricity, which makes efficient use of the fermentation residue. The Nagaoka garbage biogasification business is a PFI (＝Private Finance Initiative). Nagaoka Biocube, therefore, is what is known as an SPC (＝Special-Purpose Company), handling design-build and operate-maintenance projects.
The Integrated-administration association of NANTAN is located in the Tajima district of northern Hyogo. The NANTAN facility was completed in May, 2013. It is an efficient materials-and-fuel recovery facility, which received the recycling-society promotion subsidy from the Ministry of Environment except for power generation equipment. The facility has a combined system that integrates biogas equipment run at a high temperature using dry-type methane fermentation and heat recovery equipment through incineration. This is first of its kind to be completed as a municipal facility in Japan. A special feature of the facility is that it does not require a separate collection of wastes by residents because a mechanical crushing/sorting system has been adopted for the pretreatment of wastes. Furthermore, the system is receiving great attention because the biogas equipment uses the electric power purchase system by Feed-in Tariff. The NANTAN facility is an advanced model of biomass energy utilization for a small-scale waste treatment plant. This paper reports on the following features of the facility: circumstances surrounding facility construction, correspondence with FIT, facility outline, crushing/sorting device and characteristics of sorted waste, methane fermentation equipment, material balance and electric power balance.
This paper focuses on the efforts undertaken by the working group for business practice improvement with regard to food waste reduction. This working group was established in September 2012 with the aim of discussing ways in which business practices can be improved in areas that are linked to the generation of food waste. In the year 2012, the working group investigated the realities of food waste, returned goods and business practices within the supply chain. Based on the results of this investigation, along with discussions, the working group made its recommendations in March 2013. These consist of four action plans for food waste reduction in the supply chain. In the year 2013, the working group continued with its deliberations and activities based on their action plan. As part of this, since August 2013, they have carried out a substantive experiment involving a review of the delivery deadline for retail stores. Because there are many manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers taking part in this substantive experiment it particularly attracts the attention of a range of companies and many industry insiders. Intermediate results of the substantive experiment were announced in December 2013, indicating that extending the delivery date for retail stores is effective for food waste reduction to some extent. This has sparked great interest in the future development of the substantive experiment. This paper reports on results and discussions of the working group, the proposed action plan and intermediate results of the group′s substantive experiment. The author reports on these themes from a perspective of being within the bureau.
3R approaches to food waste management have been strongly promoted throughout the world. This paper describes the current situation, including definitions of food waste and the amount of food waste generated globally. Previous studies worldwide, which focus on life cycle assessment for reduction and recycling of food waste, are also reviewed here. In Japan, some aging incineration facilities need to be replaced in the near future. Therefore, to evaluate municipal solid waste (MSW) management strategies over the mid- and long-term, we estimated the potential amount of energy recovery and greenhouse gas reduction that could be potentially achieved through introducing anaerobic digestion facilities. Compared with 2011, the amount of electricity generated could be increased by 37 % as of 2020 and 64 % as of 2030 by combining anaerobic digestion facilities for food waste with new high-efficiency incineration facilities for the remaining MSW. Most household food waste is not currently used for anaerobic digestion. Thus, from the viewpoint of energy recovery and greenhouse gas reduction, anaerobic digestion of wastes that are not easy to incinerate for energy would be an attractive treatment method for local municipalities.