The City of Freiburg and REMONDIS have been running a PPP together since 2002. Lord Mayor of Freiburg, Dr Dieter Salomon, talked about the objectives, advantages and growth potential of Abfallwirtschaft und Stadtreinigung Freiburg GmbH (ASF) – a company that is truly sustainable.
Dr Dieter Salomon: There are two main advantages: the expertise of the private sector partner and the business model we use in Freiburg where both partners are on an equal footing. REMONDIS provides city cleaning and waste management services for many different towns and cities around the country. Their know-how has played a decisive role in helping ASF to become a competitive business with a strong portfolio.
Dr Dieter Salomon: There are a large number of different components behind the Green City label. Having been awarded this title, Freiburg has become a global role model for sustainable city development. A very important factor here is waste management, which no longer simply involves the collection of waste but covers a much larger area of operations – such as recycling or producing energy from biomass. One of the country’s largest solar farms is located on a closed landfill site in Freiburg, so it is now able to supply a combined heat and power plant with solar power from above and landfill gas from below.
Dr Dieter Salomon: The public sector is not a business for making a quick buck, so to speak. It is there to provide local residents with essential services such as transport, water, energy, supply and disposal. This also includes waste management. Local authorities need to know that their collaboration work with a private sector firm will be both sound and long lasting. This is only possible with businesses that are solid.
“Local authorities need to know that their collaboration work with a private sector firm will be both sound and long lasting.”
Dr Dieter Salomon, Lord Mayor of Freiburg
Dr Dieter Salomon: For the most part, business and environmental matters are already intertwined. Investing money to make something greener – for example re-insulating homes to make them more energy efficient – almost always leads to financial savings as well. In this case, lower costs for heating and hot water.
Things are no different in the waste management sector. Our recycling activities, for example. These are good for the environment because less residual waste needs to be processed or disposed of and because fewer primary raw materials need to be consumed – wood for paper or crude oil for plastics. And, of course, there are numerous financial benefits as well.
Dr Dieter Salomon (Alliance '90/The Greens) has been Lord Mayor of Freiburg since 2002 – the first large town in Germany ever to elect a green Lord Mayor. He had previously represented his party in the Baden-Württemberg state parliament; in 2002, he was elected leader of the Baden-Württemberg Green Party.
Further information about the PPP company, ASF, and the work it carries out can be found under case studies.