Sustainability is a very important topic in the south German university town of Freiburg. Located in the Breisgau region between the Rhine and the Black Forest, this attractive city (220,000 inhabitants) is proud of its environmental profile and the fact that it has been officially awarded the title of ‘Green City’.
The local authorities have drawn up a plan based on eight key areas that together map out how the city should continue to develop and how its sustainability goals should be achieved. Two of these areas are waste management and energy supply – two fields in which Abfallwirtschaft und Stadtreinigung Freiburg GmbH (ASF) plays a major role. ASF is a joint venture between the city council and REMONDIS. The overriding objectives for establishing the PPP in 2002 was to ensure the fees and charges paid by local residents remained stable, to secure the jobs of those working in the company and to expand its business operations across the region. REMONDIS has owned a 47% share in ASF since 2008.
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The City of Freiburg runs its waste management business according to its motto “Creating ideas rather than waste”. Priority here is being put on waste reduction and recycling to help conserve our planet’s natural resources and curb global warming. ASF is responsible for all the tasks involved in this area – from collecting and recycling waste, all the way through to keeping the city clean. The company’s main goals are to be both service oriented and cost effective as well as resource and environmentally friendly across the whole of its operations. A number of useful synergies have been created as a result of the public private partnership between the city and REMONDIS.
Freiburg and the surrounding districts are aiming to have halved their carbon emissions by 2030.
There is a whole list of facts and figures that show just what high standards the partners have achieved together. The targets set by Berlin for the coming years have already been met in Freiburg. Municipal waste is just one example here. The town currently recycles 69% of its municipal waste and so is already well over the legislator’s 65% recycling target for 2020. This can be put down to the highly segregated collection schemes set up in the region and the fact that its recyclables collection system was introduced right across the city many years ago. What’s more, the inhabitants should be applauded for generating such low volumes of household and bulky waste: in 2015 they produced 111kg per person per year – 22% below the average volume in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.
ASF has over 165 vehicles for a whole range of different tasks
Freiburg’s future-oriented energy supply concept is based on three cornerstones: energy savings, energy efficiency and renewable energy. The partnership with REMONDIS is making a great contribution towards helping the city achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets. Organic kitchen and garden waste is used in Freiburg itself to produce energy, namely at REMONDIS’ biowaste digestion plant. This facility transforms the incoming material into high quality compost. The biogas captured by this process is then used to generate climate-friendly electricity and heat for several thousand households in the region.
In 2012, Freiburg was presented with the German Sustainability Award and named ‘Germany’s most sustainable large city’.
Freiburg is intending to drive forward its innovative activities as a ‘Green City’ and ASF will be helping it to reach its goals wherever it can. It is, for example, making every effort to ensure that the volumes of waste generated continue to fall and that the amount of recyclables collected increases.
ASF also places great importance on informing the public about waste and recycling in order to drive sustainable development in the city. To achieve this, it has developed special projects for children and teenagers. These include courses, guided tours and competitions on subjects such as resource conservation and recycling – some of which are held at schools and public institutions. There is one thing that everyone in Freiburg is sure of: this clever mixture of environmental and business activities has created a sound base that will help the city to achieve its ambitious green targets.
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ASF GmbH founded in
A PPP since
53% City of Freiburg
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