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  • Dear Readers!

    There have been waste management laws in Germany for over 40 years now. At least once a decade, politicians have made some groundbreaking decisions. The “Deponieverordnung” (Landfill Ordinance), the separate kerbside collection system for waste packaging and the “TaSi”, which bans certain materials being taken to landfill and has been acting as a role model for many countries, are all examples of how they have succeeded in systematically moving the country’s waste management sector away from landfills towards more recycling. These courageous decisions, which more often than not involve large investments, have primarily been implemented by private sector businesses but also by municipal waste management companies. We have reached that crossroads again. Germany has to decide which direction it wishes to move in and just how sustainable it wishes to become. The country’s upper house, the Bundesrat, has instructed the Government to submit a draft bill for a new recyclables law by the end of the year, presenting a unique opportunity for them to catapult German recycling activities into a completely new dimension. It is a well-known fact that waste is a source of raw materials. According to a recent INFA study, a further 95kg of recyclable materials could be collected per person per year. The signals coming from the Ministry of the Environment, however, are not particularly encouraging. Here, they are obviously thinking of limiting this new law to waste packaging and wastes made of similar materials. When recycling bins were first introduced in Germany, they were used exclusively for collecting old sales packaging. The decision to allow them to also be used for waste made of similar materials was made a while ago now and it is estimated that this move would only increase the amount of recyclables collected by an additional 5kg per person per year. At REMONDIS, we believe even this figure to be illusory as our experience from collecting, sorting and recycling the contents of the recycling bins has shown that many people are already throwing wastes made of similar materials to packaging into the bin – an intelligent move even if they are not supposed to do this. If politicians limit the new law to just this area, then it will, for the most part, be completely ineffective. We are, therefore, calling on politicians to act as visionaries and be courageous. Make the most of this unique opportunity and set ambitious collection and recycling rates. This is the only way to ensure Germany has a secure supply of raw materials and that everything possible is done to prevent climate change.

    Developing sustainability in the water and recycling sectors is just beginning in Asia. Materials recycling has been neglected in this region for far too long and has hardly been able to keep up with the exponential growth on the continent. Singapore is now looking to do more in this area. One of the latest projects of the country’s National Environmental Agency (NEA) involves a new facility to process slag from waste incineration plants and recover ferrous and non-ferrous metals at the same time. REMEX is the company responsible for building and operating it. Once again, Singapore is forging ahead and acting as a role model for other densely populated regions in Asia.

    Back in Germany, REMONDIS continues to extend its successful cooperation work with local authorities. The recently founded AWIGO Logistik GmbH is the company’s latest joint venture – a public private partnership between the administrative district of Osnabrück and REMONDIS’ regional company, REMONDIS Nord.

    As always, I hope you enjoy reading about these and the many other topics in this latest issue of REMONDIS aktuell.

    Yours

    Max Köttgen 

Qualified staff few and far between

    The logistics sector is booming. This upturn, however, is casting a long shadow as there is now a shortage of qualified truck drivers. And that’s not all: this trend could be exacerbated over the coming years as more and more older drivers retire. According to the statistics published by DEKRA, tens of thousands of lorry drivers will be needed in the near future. On the other hand, unemployment levels are extremely high in countries such as Spain and Greece which are still suffering from the effects of the financial crisis. Many companies, therefore, are looking abroad to recruit qualified truck drivers – among them HR representatives from REMONDIS’ south and south west regional companies and from FES in Frankfurt.

DEKRA Academy on hand to provide assistance

  • They are well trained, young and highly motivated and yet they do not have a job. With an unemployment rate of over 25 percent – and more than 50 percent for the under 25s – this development is perhaps not so surprising. As their career prospects at home are so bleak, many young and well qualified Spaniards are now prepared to learn German and leave their homeland for a while in order to take up a job in Germany. “We have found an experienced cooperation partner with the DEKRA Academy which is helping us to find suitable truck drivers from other countries,” explained Hans-Jörg Bopp, HR manager at Region Südwest, REMONDIS’ regional company responsible for the south west of Germany.

    Daniel Lirola Medina (REMONDIS): Daniel Lirola Medina and Dario Marmolejo Castro joined REMONDIS this summer

Event organised in Valencia

Together with Maria Ettwein-Stern, HR manager at Region Süd, Nadja Haug, the person responsible for recruiting drivers at FES in Frankfurt, and two DEKRA employees, he visited the company FIMED, a personnel recruitment agency based in Valencia. There they first held interviews with seven people who had applied to be a truck driver. Later on in the day, they then took part in an information event where they gave a presentation about REMONDIS and the requirements of being a professional truck driver in the recycling sector. Around 40 potential applicants took part in the event as well as employees of local truck driving schools and the local press.

The company is being proactive in Rosenheim and training young people themselves to become professional truck drivers.

“The aim of our trip to Spain was to find out about how to recruit foreign specialists so that we can pass on this knowledge to other companies within the group. The interviews went particularly well – with both REMONDIS and FES wishing to employ six of the applicants,” explained Hans-Jörg Bopp.

Ideal qualifications, work ethic and commitment

  • Once they had shown that they had taken part in an intensive German language course, the applicants received contracts of employment, initially for a fixed period of two years. “We are really pleased with our new employees. Their qualifications, work ethic and commitment are absolutely in keeping with our expectations. There are still a few problems with their German but these can be ironed out as they will continue to take part in a language course,” concluded Hans-Jörg Bopp. The group is really pleased to be able to welcome these new employees to their team in Germany. 

    Carlos Valero is looking forward to his new tasks at FES

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