The disposal of significant volumes of debris from Japan’s March earthquake and tsunami – one of the key challenges facing the nation to rebuild from the disaster – has begun on a significant scale through the use of private-sector facilities and know-how.
Taiheiyo Cement Corp fired a kiln on Wednesday at its Ofunato plant in Iwate Prefecture. Repair work is still underway at the plant, which has two lines, with the aim of resuming cement production in November. In the meantime, the firm is using one line that escaped tsunami damage to burn wood and other combustible rubble from the cities of Ofunato and Rikuzentakata. It will burn about 300tpd of debris.
When cement output resumes, the plant will accept concrete, sludge and other non-combustible wastes for recycling as cement materials. However, one problem is that most rubble got salted as a result of the tsunami and in order to use the debris for cement production, the salt density must be lowered. Taiheiyo Cement will discuss with local governments ways to wash debris to dilute the salt content.