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  • Dear Readers!

    When looking at the news over the last few months, one could gain the impression that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of global business. In addition to social stability, the aim and objective of any rational government policy must nevertheless be to secure and wherever possible augment the prosperity of citizens. Trade barriers and isolationism lead in the opposite direction. That is why the punitive tariffs or even the Brexit are not the best option. We do not need less globalisation, but rather more if together we are to meet the global challenges of the future. At least the compromise that has now been achieved between the EU and the United Kingdom would appear to offer a very promising temporary solution. 

    “Tomorrow starts today“, is a slogan at REMONDIS, and as a leader in water management and recycling, we and our roughly 32,000 staff members work day in day out so as to preserve the planet as a hospitable place with a high quality of life for coming generations. To this end, we need open borders and as few barriers as possible to business at the international level. REMONDIS is a global player. We provide solutions for our industrial and municipal customers transnationally and efficiently while leveraging considerable synergies. The services we offer are both rooted at the regional level and networked internationally and are unique in terms of their variety in the water management and recycling business. REMONDIS develops many different segments at the same time and ascribes to the principle of vertical integration. Our customers have access to a combined service portfolio ranging from the collection, treatment, recycling, recovery, transport, logistics and water management all the way to industrial services in the area of repair and maintenance. Our customers and partners profit from this, thereby making a contribution to environmental and climate protection. 

    Environmental protection and raw materials management are transnational. From this angle, one could see the Chinese ban on imports of dirty plastic waste, electronic waste, waste paper and additional waste fractions as a major opportunity. With its clear raw materials strategy, the Middle Kingdom is forcing the European recycling industry to change directions. To do this, Europe needs to redouble its own efforts, however. An eco-design directive for the recyclability of products should force all manufacturers to design their products in such a manner so that they can be 100% recycled at the end of their life cycle. The recycling industry should raise the quality of all recycled material to the primary level by means of greater investments in better sorting and recovery as well as innovative new processes. In this regard as well, REMONDIS has been underscoring its role as a leader in innovation with targeted investments. One very promising new strategy is to return plastic waste to its original chemical state, so-called chemical recycling. And last but not least, policy-makers should create a system of economic incentives to foster the use of recycled raw materials by industry. The best raw material is of no use if nobody is interested in buying it. Each and every municipality and city can serve as a good example in public tenders already now and prioritise the advantage to the climate instead of focusing only on the lowest price.

    REMONDIS is at present leading the way by serving as a role model and investing in new plants and equipment.  

    We hope you enjoy reading the new edition of REMONDIS aktuell.

    Yours truly,

    Egbert Tölle

Germany’s first ever female waste loader works at REMONDIS

Women on waste-disposal vehicles? “Why not? There is no reason for it, only biases that have long since been shown to be unfounded,“ says Dieter Opara, REMONDIS branch manager in Hanover. He hired the first female driver for a collection lorry in Lower Saxony in 2015, followed by the first loader in northern Germany in 2016. With this first in Germany, the company has gained excellent experience. Lisa Niechciol (22) working as loader has not infrequently been accompanied by citizens gazing on in disbelief.

Important pioneering work

In rain or shine, when the self-assured young lady is collecting yellow bags on nimble feet and a spring in her step together with her male colleagues in surrounding municipalities in the region of Hanover, car-drivers gaze on with a smile on their face, reports Matthias Rütz (34), who has been riding on the running board for a year now. People perceive a bit more consciously the work performed by the seasoned team. Lisa is performing valuable pioneering work, as many women still hesitate when it comes to practical work in the world of the recycling economy. By the same token, there is scarcely any profession in which everyday work and the desire for more environmental and climate protection can harmonise with one another so well. “I think it‘s great to be able to work outside in the fresh air,“ says this almost delicate woman, who can hold her own.

  • Working to drive forward sustainability

    Lisa works quickly and reliably, something which is not always to be taken for granted with male colleagues. She did not have any fear of contact with the recycling economy right from the start. Her boyfriend, who also works in the sector, gave her the idea to hire on at REMONDIS. Lisa had undergone occupational training as a saleswoman. She does not want to go back to that profession. As loader, Lisa walks up to 20 kilometres per day, gathering between three and seven tons of light packaging in yellow bags. Every year the branch collects up to 1,600 tonnes of waste that can be sorted. This is a crucial basis for the recycling economy. The loader can proudly note in her curriculum vitae that she contributes to climate protection by saving considerable quantities of CO2 and resources. “And I don‘t have to go to a fitness club after work,“ says Lisa, striding off again to snatch five bags at a time and tossing them energetically into the vehicle. Every toss makes a concrete contribution to more sustainability.

    Rainer Fredermann (CDU), delegate to the Landtag for Langenhagen, and Lisa Niechciol collecting light packaging

Support from politicians – on the ground as well

She goes about her job, street by street, routinely answering queries by passers-by as to whether the work is not difficult for a woman or not, saying “no, it‘s fun,“ thereby generating confusion at times, but sometimes encouraging respect.  Rainer Fredermann (CDU), a member of the State Parliament, has also voiced his admiration. The delegate to the Lower Saxony Landtag from Langenhagen electoral district slipped into the role of loader for one day last summer, collecting yellow bags together with Lisa. “As a delegate to the regional parliament, I have been a member of the Waste Committee for the Hanover region for many years and help shape the future of waste policy. It helps to know what you are talking about,“ says Fredermann, adding: “I think it is great to have a woman as loader!“

Female applicants always welcome

REMONDIS supports the women’s quota and welcomes every application it receives from women. The company offers a wide range of jobs and apprenticeships in the recycling sector besides those for truck drivers and waste loaders. Find out more at remondis-karriere.de (German only)

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