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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

REMONDIS’ company, REMEX ProTerra, in action

  • A brand new residential area containing state-of-the-art homes is being built on what used to be brownfield land in the German city of Essen. For this to happen, comprehensive remediation work had to be carried out on this attractive site along the banks of the Ruhr River – a task for REMONDIS’ company, REMEX ProTerra.

45,000 square metres of land

This summer, the European Commission named Essen the “European Green Capital 2017”. This title underlines the pioneering role that the city authorities are playing to reinvent itself as a ‘green city’. This also applies to the building project currently being completed along the banks of the Ruhr River.

This 45,000m² piece of land is situated in the Essen district of Kettwig, a popular place for visitors with its attractive old city centre and its location on the river. The city centre, however, had been cut off from around 600 metres of the river bank by this contaminated brownfield site. Over the years, the City of Essen had looked at ways to rectify this situation and find a new use for this area. Up until just recently, however, all attempts had failed because of the complexity of the contamination of the ground.

  • Years of contamination in the earth

    The history of these grounds goes back all the way to the Middle Ages when they were used as a harbour and storage area. They then gradually developed into a commercial and industrial site. From the 19th Century onwards, waste materials were repeatedly added to the ground to protect it against flooding. The result was many layers of heterogeneous waste deposits, primarily made up of fire ash, furnace slag, non-mineral waste and construction waste.

    A high quality and cost-­effective remediation project was successfully completed with the help of REMEX ProTerra.

    The grounds remained derelict for more than two decades after the last production plant was closed down on the site in 1992. Everything changed, however, after a property development company purchased the site and began developing the grounds. REMONDIS’ company, REMEX ProTerra, was selected to help it clean up the site and has been involved in the project from the very early stages.

Systematic remediation work

The company was faced with a wide range of tasks – from carrying out a detailed analysis of the actual situation, to determining remediation targets and drawing up the remediation plan, all the way through to implementing the operation including all demolition, excavation, waste management and recycling work. The project team responsible for developing the concept worked closely with the city environmental authorities throughout. All remediation phases were documented in detail and checked and approved by experts.

Ideal waste segregation

Remediation work to clean up the soil officially began in the autumn of 2013. One of the major challenges facing the REMEX ProTerra specialists was the five-metre thick layers of deposited waste that had gradually built up there over the decades. Chemical and physical analyses had to be carried out on each individual layer to determine their exact contents so they could – as far as possible – be separated into different material streams. Non-mineral matter was sifted out and construction waste broken up on site so that it could be used to create a base course. A total of 50,000m3 were added to the site together with earth and top soils. A further 92,000m3 of excavated contaminated material were sent for professional recycling so that it could be re-used elsewhere. Only a very small amount was sent to landfill.

A lovely residential area along the river

Once the remediation work was successfully completed, the site was transformed into a top quality residential area. Plans are for 220 homes to be built on the grounds. The first people were able to move into their new homes in 2014. The project, which includes a variety of residential properties as well as public parks and wheelchair accessible paths to the river, is expected to have been completed by 2018. Thanks to this work, there is now nothing to stop this attractive area on the banks of the Ruhr River being used to the full.

  • „This Kettwig project is a perfect example of how grey can be transformed into green.“

    Reinhard Paß, retired Mayor of the City of Essen

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