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INTERVIEW | Large-Scale State-Run Waste to Energy a Must for Decarbonization

Incineration technology expert Yasuo Suzuki of JFE Engineering shares insights on the urgent need to make Japan's waste to energy sector more efficient.



JFE Engineering Corporation's Yasuo Suzuki at the interview. (©JAPAN Forward by Mika Sugiura)

Read the full story on Japan 2 Earth - Large-Scale State-Run Waste to Energy a Must for Decarbonization

Japan needs to nationalize its waste incineration plants and make them large-scale – so asserts a seasoned professional in waste management technology. Journalist and Manager at JAPAN Forward Mika Sugiura interviewed Yasuo Suzuki, Senior Fellow in charge of environmental technology at Yokohama-based JFE Engineering Corporation, a major engineering company involved in waste incineration. Mr Suzuki, who has been involved in the design and operation of over 50 waste incineration plants, shared his insights on what Japan ought to be doing in the waste to energy sector.

Booming Waste and Recycling Business

How did you get involved in the waste management industry?

I have been involved in the design, project management, consultation with sales partners on orders, and development of incineration technologies for more than 50 plants. My major in university was mechanical engineering. Many of my classmates went on to work for automobile manufacturers. Helping a professor prepare some materials for a lecture is what got me interested in waste management plants.

Were you assigned to the waste sector when you joined JFE Engineering, which has roots in steelmaking and shipbuilding?

When I interviewed for the job, I was brazen enough to say I wasn't interested in steelmaking. Many thought of waste only as smelly and shied away from working in what was only a minor sector at the time. In the 1970s, Tokyo was said to be in the midst of a "war on waste." Residents opposed the construction of incineration facilities, creating quite an uproar. Later, there was a lot of furor over dioxin pollution, leading to the development of countermeasure technologies. Now our business in environmental fields, like incineration plants and recycling, accounts for 60 to 70% of total sales.

Continue reading the full story on Japan 2 Earth to learn more about how Japan can improve the efficiency of its waste to energy projects.

And find more great articles on the environment and the challenges of achieving the SDGs on our new website Japan 2 Earth (J2E), sparking a transition to a sustainable future.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Mika Sugiura


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