Toyota established nationwide battery recycling system to collect end-of-life Nickel metal hydride batteries safely from the market and make sustainable use of limited resources possible. To further recovery, Toyota also distributes its Hybrid Battery Unit Collection and Recycling Manual to dismantling companies and makes it available on website to get them to know the system well. When new type of hybrid vehicle is announced, Toyota updates the manual. In FY 2010, 5,654 battery packs were collected under this system. In October 2009, Toyota HV call-center is open, and the center expands operational system in order to prepare for increasing requests from dismantling companies.
Hybrid Vehicle Battery Recycling System
Recycling of automobiles is not so simple that one company can completely handle it alone. The recycling system begins to function when it is part of a tailored network managed by companies with specialized technology and equipment, human resources and funds. Since 1970, Toyota has worked with affiliates to create such a network and set up a recycling system.
Under Toyota's recycling system, catalytic converters and electrical parts removed by dismantling companies, are collected at centers across Japan by Toyotsu Recycle Corporation.*1 The electrical parts are reused. Precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium are smelted, and then Cataler corporation*2 makes use of them as recycled raw materials to manufacture new catalyst. Selected fluids designated by dismantling companies are recycled as combustion improvers by Toyota Chemical Engineering Co., Ltd.*3 Vehicles from which all useful parts have been removed are then shredded into small pieces by Toyota Metal Co., Ltd.*4 Then iron, aluminum and other metallic components are collected for use in automobile parts by Toyota and Aichi Steel Corporation.*5
*1 Toyotsu Recycle Corporation (TRC)
TRC collects catalytic converters and used auto parts (starters, alternators, drive shafts, etc.) from approximately 2,500 dismantling companies throughout Japan in order to promote recycling and re-use.
TRC also introduces and sells tools developed with Toyota for dismantling companies.
Since 2004, TRC has been in charge of administering ASR recycling/recovery system.
*2 Cataler Corporation (Toyota's equity participation 57%)
Since 1982, Cataler corporation has made use of recycled precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium as raw materials.
*3 Toyota Chemical Engineering Co., Ltd.
Established 1973. Concentrates engine oils, LLC and window washing liquids, and recycles them into combustion improvers.
*4 Toyota Metal Co., Ltd. (Toyota's equity participation 48%) Established 1970. It has two shredder machines of 2,000 hp each and is one of Japan's largest shredding companies that sorts steel and non-ferrous metals for recycling. Monthly shredding capacity of 35,000 units. In 2000 it processed 194,000 units.
*5 Aichi Steel Corporation (Toyota's equity participation 24%)
Established 1940. Steel scrap from Toyota Metal, is combined with other steel scrap to be recycled as crankshafts and other vehicle parts.