Button for menue
DE | EN
  • Dear Readers!

    Germany has set itself some ambitious goals in its move to support global efforts to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting gases – first and foremost CO2. On signing the Kyoto Protocol, the governments agreed to reduce emissions so that global temperature increases are limited to below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the Federal government, Germany’s contribution is to have cut its emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020 and by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 compared to carbon emission levels in 1990. This goal should primarily be reached by extending the country’s network of renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency.

    Germany has set itself some ambitious goals in its move to support global efforts to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting gases – first and foremost CO2. On signing the Kyoto Protocol, the governments agreed to reduce emissions so that global temperature increases are limited to below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the Federal government, Germany’s contribution is to have cut its emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020 and by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 compared to carbon emission levels in 1990. This goal should primarily be reached by extending the country’s network of renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency.

    The country’s simultaneous exit from nuclear power, however, has been like starting an experiment with an uncertain outcome. It has certainly got the network technicians reacting nervously to the slightest glitch in the system – as could be seen recently during the partial solar eclipse in Germany. In extreme cases, there can be fluctuations of up to fourteen gigawatts an hour – the result of the rapid growth of renewable energy sources – and these must be compensated for with electricity generated from fossil fuels. This is making it extremely difficult for the Federal government to reach its climate goals and so it is essential that moves are made to find alternative ways of cutting emissions. This is where the recycling sector can help. Aside from the fact that our sector is the only industry to have succeeded in completely turning itself around – from being an emitter of greenhouse gases as a result of sending organic material to landfill, to cutting carbon emissions through recycling and thermal treatment – there are still a number of other ways it can help prevent climate change. If the government makes the necessary adjustments now, i.e. with its new recyclables law, and ensures that the very most is made of the material and thermal potential of the recyclables in our waste, then our sector alone can achieve 6% of the 2020 climate goals. This has been proven by studies carried out by the Fraunhofer UMSICHT Institute. 

    Being one of the largest recycling, water and service companies, REMONDIS is already making an important contribution towards preventing climate change and conserving our planet’s natural resources. We would be very happy to be allowed to do even more. Introducing organic waste bins across the country is an important step towards achieving a more sustainable future. More and more often the public and private sectors are approaching each other to find ways of protecting the environment together to ensure future generations also have a world worth living in. Whilst it is certainly too early to say there has been a complete change of heart, one fact remains true: the public and private sectors are stronger when they work together – especially when they are looking to achieve ambitious goals!

    The term ‘sustainability’ may have been overused in recent years but it still depicts best the challenges that all industrial and commercial businesses must face – both now and in the future. Many of our customers have added our sustainability certificate to their business models. The Steigenberger hotel group, for example, has not only achieved the best recycling rates in their industry thanks to REMONDIS, their “Green Meeting“ concept, verified by our sustainability certificate, has given this successful hotel business a truly unique selling point. We are happy to help wherever we can! 

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

Sewage sludge important for agriculture

Sewage sludge has been used as a fertiliser for many years now and there is a good reason for this: the sludge contains phosphorus, an essential element for all life forms on our planet. The Federal government is intending to examine the use of sewage sludge as a fertiliser. This will raise a number of questions. What measures must be undertaken to ensure agricultural businesses have a guaranteed supply of fertiliser in the future? And what will happen to the phosphorus contained in the sewage sludge?

Associations present their new strategy

Eleven German associations – including the DBV (German Farmers’ Association), the BDE (Federal Association of the German Waste Management Industry) and the VKU (Association of Local Utility Companies) – have come together to draw up a list of key parameters to develop a new strategy for sewage sludge. The associations believe that high quality sewage sludge should continue to be used by agricultural and landscaping businesses as a fertiliser, as it is an extremely efficient source of phosphorus, nitrogen and organic substances.

AGRAGENT®, a division run by REMONDIS’ subsidiary RETERRA, specialises in supplying phosphorus to the agricultural sector.

REMONDIS has been looking into this subject for a long while now. The company has been supplying farmers and landscapers with sewage sludge fertiliser for years. This quality assured fertiliser is a popular product as it is effective, efficient and safe – helping to provide plants with the nutrients they need and enriching the soil at the same time. In fact, it has been proven that this fertiliser improves all soil values – whether it be levels of nutrients, trace elements or humus. Moreover, there is the added advantage that absolutely all of the phosphorus in the material is used. Each year, REMONDIS’ subsidiary, RETERRA Service GmbH, returns around 10,000 tonnes of phosphorus to soils via its fertilisers.

Balancing out nutrient deficiencies

Besides these advantages, the company can also adjust the composition of their phosphorus and nitrogen-based fertilisers to meet the requirements of their clients’ crops or soils. As a result, fields can be spread with fertilisers that meet their exact needs and help balance out nutrient deficiencies.

Not only are global reserves of phosphorus running out, they are also located in just a very small number of countries outside Europe. This creates dependency.

The associations are also looking at alternative ways of recovering and recycling the phosphorus from sewage sludge that cannot be used as a fertiliser. Moreover, they are calling for the phosphorus to be recovered from thermally treated sewage sludge. With global reserves of phosphate ore dwindling, it is becoming more important than ever to recover this valuable substance from such sources – Germany alone consumes 170,000 tonnes of phosphorus a year. REMONDIS and its subsidiary REMONDIS Aqua have already developed a number of innovative concepts – such as its TetraPhos, RePhos and ThomPhos processes – to make the very most of this resource.

© 2018 REMONDIS SE & Co. KG | Imprint | Privacy & Cookies