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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 

Mobile information centre for 300,000+ local inhabitants

  • Just what is the quality of the drinking water in Rostock? How are the water rates and wastewater charges actually calculated? What should be done in the case of a burst pipe or some other disruption? With its new mobile information centre, which was on the road for the first time at the beginning of the year, EURAWASSER Nord is now giving the more than 300,000 local inhabitants in the region a further opportunity to learn more about the business of drinking water and wastewater. Experienced and capable employees are on hand to answer all their questions as well as give them valuable tips.

Improved customer service

The area covered by EURAWASSER Nord GmbH stretches 80 kilometres southwards from the boundary of the administrative district of Rostock and comprises a total of 77 local authorities as well as the City of Rostock itself. EURAWASSER Nord, a company owned by REMONDIS Aqua since 2012, currently has four branches in this region – including its main customer centre in Rostock – and the launch of its new mobile centre (KNOW-H2OW-MOBIL) has enabled it to further improve its local services. “We want to accommodate our customers’ wishes and take the time that is needed to answer their questions and listen to their concerns – no matter whether they are of a general or a more specific nature,” explained Thomas Ronge-Leiding, managing director of EURAWASSER Nord. “We hope that our mobile centre’s unusual name and its attractive graphics will awaken the interest of our customers and encourage them to talk to us about the subject of water and, at the same time, it signalises just how much we wish to speak to them.”

Customer centre on wheels

    Getting much closer to its customers – EURAWASSER’s KNOW-H2OW van

    It is not always easy to get into personal contact with people in rural regions. This minibus will, therefore, be travelling around the region – for which the two water and wastewater associations, Warnow-Wasser- und Abwasserverband and Abwasserzweckverband Güstrow-Bützow-Sternberg are responsible – and act as an advice centre for EURAWASSER. “We will be travelling to different towns and villages where will park on the main squares to reach as many people as possible. We want to make it as easy as possible for local inhabitants to talk to us, to have their questions answered and to get the personal advice they need,” stressed Thomas Ronge-Leiding. The mobile customer centre is equipped with a laptop, table and seating accommodation allowing the employees to sit down with their customers and fully answer any questions they may have regarding their water pipes, metres or bills.

    The new mobile centre can answer any question EURAWASSER’s customers may have about water and wastewater.

    Besides having a good stock of informative brochures and leaflets on board, the minibus also carries all forms that may be required as well as water metres to enable the employees to demonstrate exactly how they should be read. Moreover, the younger visitors can find out all about the different apprenticeship courses on offer in the water management sector. The customer is certainly king as long as EURAWASSER and its KNOW-H2OW minibus are on the road!

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