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News Release

JRI Begins Full-scale Operation of IC Tag-based
Next-generation Waste Management System
- Realizing Reduction in Volume of Waste Generated and Promotion of Recycling -

November 20, 2006
The Japan Research Institute, Limited
Ageo Central General Hospital

The Japan Research Institute, Limited (JRI, head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Yasuyuki Kimoto) began providing the Ageo Central General Hospital, a key hospital in Ageo City, Saitama Prefecture, and its surrounding areas (director: Yasuhiko Nakamura; 753 beds), with next-generation waste management services making efficient use of IC tags in April 2006. The full-scale operation of the services started in October.

The innovative next-generation waste management system, the first of its kind in Japan, resulted from activities by the JRI-sponsored Material Tracing IC system (MATICS) Consortium.

1. Overview of the next-generation waste management system

(1) In the past, there were systems that used IC tags to trace the process of waste treatment, but JRI’s next-generation waste management system realizes not only the tracing of waste but also reduction in the volume of waste generated at business facilities and the promotion of recycling. Introduction of this system enables businesses that discharge waste to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities in more concrete terms.

(2) The network system, which recently began full-scale operation at the Ageo Central General Hospital, utilizes IC tags to extract and analyze detailed data, including the types and weight of waste discharged from various divisions in the hospital (operating theaters, dialysis rooms, surgical and internal wards, etc.), as well as the sizes and condition of waste containers. It also clarifies problematic points with waste treatment in each section and provides feedback on specific improvement measures directly to each section.

Specifically, the system:

a) Confirms that waste has been treated appropriately
b) Grasps problematic points with waste treatment for each division by checking:
- Whether waste is sorted out thoroughly
- Whether waste is discharged excessively
- Whether substances other than designated waste are discharged
- Whether recyclable waste is discharged
- Whether waste is handled sloppily and with a risk of pollution spreading
- Whether attention is paid when waste is collected and transported so that others are not contaminated
- Whether an appropriate amount of waste is put in a container
c) Manages the progress in improvement

Verification tests have already confirmed that progress management of improvement leads to reduction in costs incurred by waste treatment. In addition, the system benchmarks the degree of thoroughness in waste treatment for each division, allowing managers to expect that the morale of field personnel, including doctors, nurses, and nursing assistants, will be raised through a higher awareness of the environment, safety, and cost management regarding waste.

2. Effects on the core business

The effects of introducing this system include not only managing waste treatment properly and facilitating improvements in waste treatment, but also managing the core business properly and improving it. The reason is that divisions that fail to treat waste thoroughly tend to lack thoroughness in carrying out the core business, an indication that improvements in waste treatment lead to improvements in the core business. The major reasons for lack of progress in waste treatment include "lack of communication among field personnel," "complicated, difficult-to-understand business processes," and "worksites not kept tidy and in order." All of these are deeply associated with lack of thoroughness in carrying out the core business.

3. Future undertakings

In the future, JRI plans to spread this system to not only medical institutions but also a wider range of businesses that discharge waste. Specifically this year, it is testing its next-generation waste recycling system at the construction sites of housing manufacturers with the support of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in order to help achieve zero emission. Plans call for the system to begin full-scale operation next year.

For more information on the content of this report, please contact: Kazuhiro Muto , the Japan Research Institute, Limited.

Tel: 03-3288-4649

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