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  • Dear Readers!

    Whilst the energy transition “experiment” continues unabated in Germany and the large energy providers find themselves in a difficult situation as they try to find out exactly what their main business now is, REMONDIS – as a consumer – has been taking action and has come up with some innovative solutions to tackle the energy problem. We have, for example, succeeded in considerably reducing energy consumption at our dismantling centre for waste electrical and electronic equipment at the Lippe Plant in Lünen by introducing a new energy management system. Whereas, in the past, it had only been possible to see how much energy the plant was consuming as a whole, a new software system – developed by the company itself – now enables the ­consumption of each individual piece of equipment and each individual light to be recorded. One of the responses to the results generated by this new system was to exchange all the lights in the plant with state-of-the-art LEDs. This has led to more light with fewer carbon emissions and lower costs and this idea is catching on across the whole of the group. This is what we at REMONDIS believe the energy transition to be.

    REMONDIS continues to enjoy healthy growth and not only in its home region of North Rhine-Westphalia. Our family-owned company has been expanding in the countries which are on its list of “core regions”. These include, for example, neighbouring countries such as Poland to the east and the Netherlands to the west. The Dutch recycling firm, van ­Gansewinkel, recently sold its Polish operations to ­REMONDIS. Furthermore, REMONDIS acquired the business locations and activities of the Becker Group in the south of Poland. Thanks to these latest transactions, we have succeeded in expanding our range of services for our Polish customers and strengthening our position on the Polish market – one of the company’s so-called core markets. At the time of going to press, we also received the good news that our Dutch subsidiary has taken over the Dusseldorp Group. This will considerably grow REMONDIS Nederland’s operations in the Dutch recycling sector.

    According to the Federal Office for National Statistics, the total debt of the local and district authorities in Germany lay at around 140 billion euros at the end of 2014 – and this figure is likely to rise. Some councils, however, are of the opinion that they can solve this problem by remunicipalising services that, they believe, fall into the category of “vital public services”. To be able to do this though they must spend large sums of money on setting up the necessary infrastructure – an infrastructure that private sector firms already have in place and which they could offer far more cost-effectively. We know from experience that the best solution is to work together as partners, as can be seen in the City of Freiburg in the Breisgau region. The PPP model continues to be a practicable solution that unites the two worlds in the best possible way and brings the most benefits for the regional economy and the local inhabitants.

    The arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Germany to escape from their war-torn homelands will mean greater challenges as well as some great opportunities for our ­country and local authorities. Let us work together in a spirit of optimism and confidence to create a better future for ­everyone living in our country. REMONDIS is there as always to help and advise its municipal partners. 

    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann

  • Medical waste in the safest of hands

    The REMONDIS Medison employees are the REMONDIS Group’s experts for delivering clean and safe treatment solutions for all types of problematic waste. This also includes the professional disposal of medical and infectious waste. There is a high demand for such specialist knowledge all around the world – as could be seen in 2014 ­following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

    REMONDIS Medison employees wearing special protective clothing during the Ebola rescue exercise at Frankfurt Airport

Working group of experts set up

Last year’s epidemic was the largest outbreak of this life-threatening virus infection that the world had ever seen. For the first time, patients outside Africa were affected by the Ebola virus. Faced with such a dramatic situation, the prestigious Robert Koch Institute in Berlin decided to set up a special working group of experts in October 2014. Their goal: to develop a safe and uniform system across the whole of the country to collect and dispose of the highly infectious Ebola waste.

One of REMONDIS Medison’s main fields of business is delivering professional waste management solutions for handling medical waste from clinics, university hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, laboratories and pharmacies.

This group was made up of specialists from leading medical institutions, federal authorities, associations and the worlds of industry, science and research as well as a number of experts from REMONDIS Medison. They were able to provide valuable information on how to store, transport and dispose of medical waste.

Signing of a multilateral agreement

In principle, all waste generated in Germany as a result of treating someone suspected of having the Ebola virus disease must be inactivated on site at source. If this is not possible, then this dangerous material must be transported to a hazardous waste incineration plant licensed to handle such substances. Transport of this waste to the appropriate incineration facility is regulated by the dangerous goods act and international transport laws.

Using this information as their starting point, the team of experts at the Robert Koch Institute participated in a number of workshops to draw up practicable solutions for safely treating the highly infectious Ebola waste. One of the important outcomes of these meetings was the signing of a multilateral agreement. This regulates how such highly infectious material must be packed and transported. The focal point of this agreement is a special triple packaging solution consisting of a primary container, secondary packaging and plastic outer packaging shaped like a drum.

The outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in western Africa has led to new standards being set for managing and disposing of medical waste. REMONDIS has exceptional knowledge of this area.

Guidelines drawn up by REMONDIS Medison

In addition to these regulations, REMONDIS Medison developed a comprehensive waste management and logistics concept for customers who have to deal with Ebola-contaminated waste. The concept acts as a set of guidelines describing how such dangerous materials should be handled. All information about the material streams are continuously recorded, analysed and documented to create absolute transparency in all areas.

Large-scale rescue exercise at Frankfurt Airport

  • As potential emergency situations have to be well prepared in advance, a team of REMONDIS Medison staff also took part in a major rescue exercise. This exercise simulated the arrival of an Ebola patient at Frankfurt Airport. All individual steps were practised in as realistic conditions as possible – from the landing of the plane, to moving the patient, all the way through to disposing of the waste. All stages of this successful exercise were performed under the strictest of safety standards. Should the need actually arise, then there is an Ebola rescue plane ready and waiting to bring the patient to Germany. The Airbus 340-300 is part of this rescue plan and would be deployed by the Foreign Office with doctors from the Robert Koch Institute. The plane, called Villingen-Schwenningen, had previously been used as a passenger aircraft and has been completely refitted for this purpose. It is equipped with three isolation cells and enables the patients to be safely flown in as well as for them to receive on-board treatment.

    REMONDIS’ SafetyTruck ensures the special packaging is transported safely

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