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  • 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

The holes in the ozone layer brought about a change
in attitude

  • REMONDIS’ efforts to drive sustainability are making good progress in Australia as well. The country was the first to suffer the consequences of the world’s careless attitude towards the environment when holes appeared in the ozone layer above their heads. Since then, Australia has been focusing on protecting the environment and preventing climate change. Is there a more obvious way of doing this than combining recycling and solar energy? There is certainly enough sunshine there.

    Implementation of the SCADA system

    For over 10 years now, REMONDIS’ branch in Port Macquarie, a region on the Gold Coast situated between Sydney and Brisbane, has built up a reputation among agricultural, commercial and horticultural businesses as well as local authorities as being a reliable supplier of high quality compost. Besides producing this popular material, REMONDIS’ Australian subsidiary also provides good value services, collecting and recycling commercial waste from around the region.

    At the end of 2014, REMONDIS announced that it had succeeded in extending its contract to operate and manage the tunnel composting facility in Port Macquarie for a further 10-year period. A number of improvements are being made to the facility including the implementation of the SCADA system (supervisory control and data acqui­sition) which gathers and analyses real time technical data – providing important information for optimising plant operations. 

A bespoke solar energy system

One of the highlights of the upgraded plant is the new solar system on the roof of the building. A total of 176 solar panels (each 250 watts) were installed there to generate climate friendly energy. This bespoke system was specially designed, engineered and installed by Harelec Services, a local company specialising in solar PV design and installation. Capable of generating around 67,500 kWh of electricity from the sun’s rays every year, this new system will cut carbon emissions by a good 60 tonnes. This combined solar and recycling facility is one of the largest on the continent and is setting an example for the whole of the country showing what measures can be undertaken to prevent climate change. The Mayor of Port Macquarie, Peter Besseling, praised REMONDIS’ work during the official opening of the facility. The operation of the REMONDIS composting facility had, he said, been a great success for the local community. Almost half a million tonnes of material have been processed since 2001, mostly organic material into compost but also the stabilisation of general waste prior to landfilling. Commenting on the new solar system, the mayor said: “It is an exciting addition to the facility and shows the continued improvement in efficiency of operations.”

Combining recycling and solar energy is one of the ways Australia can create a climate friendly future.

For REMONDIS, the plant is a further milestone along its path to set up even more sustainable recycling systems in Australia – especially in the area of organic material. By extending the facility, REMONDIS is supporting the local economy, collaborating closely with Port Macquarie Hastings Council and helping to create more jobs in the region.

New contracts in the Greater Sydney region and the Sunshine Coast

  • REMONDIS has also succeeded in beating its competitors and winning contracts in the Greater Sydney region as well as in other areas in Australia. The company has been awarded a contract to collect, transport and recycle all domestic waste, recyclable waste and green waste in Wollongong and Shellharbour, approx. 80km south of Sydney. The Shellharbour contract also includes servicing public place bins. Wollongong is the ninth-largest city in Australia with a population approaching 200,000; neighbouring Shellharbour is home to 65,000 people. Moreover, REMONDIS was also awarded a contract to collect municipal waste in the Sunshine Coast, one of the largest districts in the country.

    REMONDIS is now responsible for waste management in the Sunshine Coast.

    No matter what services it provides, REMONDIS’ goal is to be one of the main driving forces in Australia – helping to grow sustainability in the country’s waste management sector in order to protect the environment and prevent climate change.  

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