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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

Efficiently improving water quality

    • BRAIN, a one hundred per cent-owned subsidiary of LWG Lausitzer Wasser GmbH & Co. KG, recently received a patent for a system aimed at efficiently improving the water quality of acidic bodies of water that has been in use for many years. It reduces harmful chemical reactions, thereby improving the water quality of acidic mining lakes considerably.

Battling the low pH value

The underlying cause of acidic lakes is aeration of geological containment areas like those that come about through the extraction of lignite coal in surface mines. Oxygen has an oxidising impact on the iron minerals pyrite and marcasite stored there, which after the flooding of containment zones react with the water. This brings about a chemical compound that is poorly soluble, appearing as a brown precipitate in the water and resulting in an extremely low pH value for the lake water. If it goes untreated, mining lakes cannot be used without restriction – either for agriculture or for recreational purposes.

A new process

To change this, LWG, a subsidiary of REMONDIS Agua, has been collaborating with the clean-up company NSG since as far back as 2009 and 2010 in the development of a technological process that introduces chemical additives to acidic bodies of water in the form of so-called conditioning substances.

What is special about this method compared to other ones is that a process and a facility have been developed that are placed underneath a boat. As a result of the immediate mixing of the limestone with the lake water, the process that takes place under water is significantly more efficient than treatment above the surface.

A registered patent since 2017

    • The treatment ship Barbara, which was planned and built especially for the project, was put into operation for testing purposes as far back as 2012. It has been in operation on Lake Schlabendorf since the summer of 2013, since then introducing approximately 45,000 tons of lime product. This has significantly improved the water quality, moving the pH value permanently into the neutral area.

    At the end of last year, a patent on the use of this technology was officially registered at the Patent and Trademark Office. The patent holders and hence also official users of this in-lake liming technology are the company BRAIN, a one hundred per cent-owned subsidiary of LWG, LMBV Lausitzer und Mitteldeutsche Bergbau-Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH and eta AG.

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