A couple cool things I spotted inside a Japanese recycling center

created on: 07/31/08

Just got back from Japan on a tour with Panasonic to see some of the company's eco-friendly initiatives. While inside one of their recycling plants, I spotted this cool table made from a washing machine drum. This particular recycling plant handles home appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers, air conditioners, and television sets. They're able to recycle more than half of the materials in each appliance back into new appliances. This table here is just kind of for fun.

The chairs are made of a really, really dense plastic derived from some of the bits of scrap from the various machines. It looks and feels like wood, though, and apparently there are picnic tables, chairs, and benches in nearby parks that Panasonic has supplied with this type of furniture.

There's more info here -- an interview and a video and whatnot, if you're interested.

Here's the video portion:

I also thought that the air conditioners in the recycling plant were kind of cool. The A/C unit is built into the ceiling and has a fan attached to it. So the outflow of air causes the fan's blades to spin, making everything doubly cool. Such a simple idea.

created on: 07/31/08

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Anonymous on Jan 13, 2011:

Hi Doug,

I'm writing an article about repurposing old home appliances and would love to use this table photo! Would that be ok with you?

Many Thanks,


DesigningMom on Aug 01, 2008:

WOW! Very interesting information. Nice to see what Panasonic is doing for the enviroment! Thanks for sharing.
~Becky <><

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