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Data Entry: September 2011
Name of recycling technology Recycling of Waste Paper/Waste Paper Containers and Packaging (Production of animal bedding for cattle, pigs, horses and poultry)
Name of recycler Marumasu Masuda Honten Co., Ltd.
Location Kitahiroshima City, Hokkaido Prefecture
Name of eco industrial park -
Receiving waste materials for recycling Waste paper
Separately collected waste paper containers and packaging from households
Confidential documents to be disposed of
Recycled products/recovered materials Animal bedding for cattle, pigs, horses and poultry
Refuse paper & plastic fuel (RPF)
Capacity of recycling plant 6,000 t/year
Area of recycling plant 15,000 m2
Number of employees in recycling plant 34 (as of April 2010)
Start of recycling operation April 2001
Technical description Produces animal bedding from waste paper, waste paper containers, waste paper packaging and confidential documents to be disposed of.

The recycling process comprises the following key steps:
  • Removal of foreign matter
    The following types of foreign matter are manually removed. Of confidential documents, those that must be shredded unopened are immediately shredded, skipping the manual removal of foreign matter.
    - Metals and plastics such as clips and binding cords
    - Wax coated paper, carbon paper, laminated paper
    - Gold/silver coated paper/packaging
    - Paper with magnetic stripe/layer
    - Paper with fragrance (e.g. bags/cartons for detergent)
    - Window envelopes
    - Stickers and release paper/sheets
    - Photos
    Of foreign matter, waste paper goods are processed into RPF.
  • Crushing/shredding
    Crushes and shreds waste paper including confidential documents, paper containers and paper packaging. The crushing/shredding machine has a magnetic separator to remove any metal remaining after manual separation.
  • Swelling and softening
    Beats and kneads waste paper to a fibrous form.
  • Compression
    Compresses the product to reduce the volume by about two-thirds before packing for ease of transport, storage and handling.
Features of Recycled Products
  • Safe waste paper is selected for the production of animal bedding, and bedding products are tested and inspected for heavy metals and pathogenic bacteria.
  • The animal bedding keeps the cattle house floor dry for a long time since its water absorbency is about three times higher than that of sawdust.
  • Made from paper, the bedding offers excellent thermal insulation and keeps the bellies of lying animals warm.
  • The bedding mixes well with animal excrement when the animals walk.
  • Used animal bedding is useful as compost. Made from paper, the bedding quickly ferments and decomposes, and does not remain in compost since it is completely decomposed. The bedding may also be used as a moisture-adjusting material because of its high absorbency when composting animal excrement.
Background of starting recycling business and participating in eco-town program
  • Experience in waste paper collection
    As a waste paper wholesaler, the company's business was to collect waste paper and sell it to paper-making plants as a raw material for making paper.
  • Need to explore use of waste paper
    In 1999, an excess of waste paper occurred due to decreased paper production as the economy stagnated. Moreover, with the progress of information technology, reduction in weight of newspaper and cardboard, and expected decline in paper production, the company was forced to explore new applications of waste paper.
  • Need for secure disposal of confidential documents
    Enterprises and government offices were required to control information more strictly, causing an increase in confidential documents and growing demand for secure disposal of them. Sapporo City is the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture where many enterprises and government offices are located, and so demand for the project was expected to increase.
  • Dairy farmers' needs
    - Dairy farming is widely practiced in Hokkaido, and conventionally, sawdust and rice straw have been used for animal bedding. However, the supply of sawdust and rice straw was decreasing due to the decline in forestry and the miniaturization of rice straw resulting from plant breeding, generating demand for a new bedding material.
    - Dairy farmers also needed a better way of treating livestock excrement. The National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations consulted the waste paper industry about their idea of using paper to treat livestock excrement.
  • High level of interest in the environment by the top management
    The company's president is keen to explore new businesses and is highly interested in the environment. He wanted to broaden the scope of waste paper recycling and help reduce waste in Hokkaido.
  • Initiatives of local government
    The Hokkaido Prefectural Government inaugurated an eco-town program and invited the company to participate.
  • Enforcement of recycling law
    Since the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law (national law) was enforced, demand for recycling waste paper containers and packaging was expected to increase.
  • Development of technology and conducting tests
    Therefore, they first began to develop a technology for producing animal bedding from waste paper including confidential paper and waste paper containers and packaging. Next, tests were conducted using the company's bedding products for livestock. The company then built a new plant and began to produce and sell animal bedding on a full-scale basis.
Fund procurement The project cost was some JPY330 million, 50% of which was subsidized by the national government and 1% by the Hokkaido Prefectural Government.
Major success factors
  • Compliance with needs
    - Both needs for bedding in the livestock farming industry and for disposal of confidential documents in urban areas were met.
    - When developing bedding products, the company conducted a thorough survey of dairy farmers' needs.
    - The company put priority on developing bedding that is harmless to animals, and to prove it, they thoroughly tested and inspected bedding for heavy metals and pathogenic bacteria.
  • Top management's leadership
    Their president showed strong leadership. As chairman of the Hokkaido Papermaking Material Wholesale Business Association, he was associated with various organizations.
  • Cooperation with various organizations and institutions
    For developing the bedding production technology and for the field experiments, the company worked with local agricultural cooperative associations, the Hokkaido Prefectural Livestock Experiment Station and a waste paper recycling technology development company. The company also received a subsidy from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
  • Securing buyers for recycled products
    To expand distribution channels for their animal bedding, the company used the distribution network of local agricultural cooperative associations, who also introduced them to some buyers.
  • Support from local government
    Their animal bedding was listed as a Hokkaido Prefecture Authorized Recycled Product by the Hokkaido Prefectural Government.
  • Securing a plant site
    The company obtained a plant construction site in Kitahiroshima, which is close to Sapporo. They also obtained the approval of local residents for the construction of their plant and built good relations with them.
Issues and Challenges
  • Inclusion of foreign matter in waste materials
    Confidential documents that have been stored for a long time often contain foreign matter such as clips and binding cords. Waste paper containers and packaging sometimes contain unrecyclable paper materials. Consequently, it was necessary to introduce meticulous manual separation and mechanical separation using a magnetic separator.
  • Compliance with customer needs
    The properties of paper differ from those of conventional bedding materials such as sawdust and rice straw, and the company needed to develop a product that would precisely meet customers' needs for using animal bedding. They therefore developed the bedding in cooperation with the Hokkaido Prefectural Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, local agricultural cooperative associations and the Hokkaido Prefectural Livestock Experiment Station.
  • Recycled product sales system
    Farmers buy farming materials via their local agricultural cooperative associations, and their commercial practice differs from other common commercial practices. Therefore, the company used the distribution networks of the local agricultural cooperative associations to sell their animal bedding.
  • Fluctuating demand for recycled products
    In winter in Hokkaido, the supply of waste paper decreases due to snow, while demand for animal bedding increases. Therefore, the company ensures that it can receive confidential documents in order to cope with the fluctuating demand for its bedding products.
  • Improved way of securing waste materials
    After commencing the recycling business, the company obtained a permit from the Hokkaido Prefectural Government to dispose of industrial waste. The permit enabled them to conduct intermediate treatment of foreign matter contained in confidential documents. Moreover, it became possible to perform intermediate treatment of office waste such as video tapes, electronic media and uniforms, as well as confidential documents. This arrangement helps ensure the supply of confidential documents.
  • Improved transport efficiency
    After distributing animal bedding, empty trucks returned to base. Meanwhile, there was a growing demand in suburban cities for disposal of confidential documents, since public trust in the company had improved. Therefore the trucks were used after distributing animal bedding to pick up confidential documents collected in suburban cities on their way home, thus improving the utilization factor.
  • Improved reliability
    - To build customer trust in the company's handling of confidential documents and ensure the supply of such documents, the company installed GPS in their transport trucks and achieved Information Security Management System (ISO/IEC 27001) certification, demonstrating an improved information security control.
    - The company also achieved Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) certification thanks to corporate guidelines for their recycling business.
Future prospects Through its waste paper recycling business, the company actively promotes regional recycling activities and strives to build a resource-recycling society. 
Remarks The national government should offer subsidies to a new recycling business at its startup, while local governments should facilitate business matching between various corporations and organizations to explore the needs for and use of recycled products. 

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