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  • Dear Readers!

    The summer break has come to an end and people are gradually returning to work – as are the MPs in Berlin. Once again, environmental politicians are focusing on the subjects of waste management and recycling. The coalition agreement, signed by the Government in 2013, gives great importance to curbing global warming and using our planet’s natural resources efficiently and also expressly states that innovations that protect the environment, prevent climate change and preserve resources are also opportunities for economic growth. Industry specialists are well aware, however, that economic growth and more innovations are only possible if there are clear framework conditions in place that guarantee fair competition, if product responsibility is extended and if recycling targets are raised. The latter, in particular, can only be implemented if the necessary legal framework has been established so that joint kerbside collection schemes for packaging and other recyclables can be set up.

    Unfortunately, the latest draft bill for the new packaging law has failed to deliver what many had been hoping for. What we seem to have here is the eighth amendment to the Packaging Ordinance rather than a genuine recyclables law. Whilst there are a few positive approaches to remedying the current deficiencies, it does not deal with the question of whether waste made of similar materials to packaging should also be collected in recycling bins. The increased recycling targets are well below the volumes that could actually be recovered from household waste. According to the latest studies, an additional 7.8 million tonnes of raw materials could still be collected which in turn would reduce carbon emissions by a further 1.6 million tonnes. Moreover, the need for fair competition and a level playing field between the private and public sector companies has not been tackled in the draft bill either. And there is practically no mention of introducing effective ecodesign guidelines that would force manufacturers to think about how their products could be recycled when actually designing them. We must wait and see whether this draft bill actually becomes law. The private recycling sector believes that a number of improvements need to be made to the bill. Time is running out, however, with the general election coming up next year.

    REMONDIS demonstrates just what can be done with waste and how the very most can be made of these materials to curb climate change and protect the environment – such as at its Lippe Plant in Lünen. The efforts being made by the company here were officially recognised recently when KlimaExpo.NRW (a cross-departmental initiative of the state government of NRW to prevent climate change, conserve resources and achieve sustainable economic growth) added three of the Lippe Plant’s areas of expertise to its list of the twelve best projects in North Rhine-Westphalia. At this site, industrial and household waste is recycled and turned into primary products for industrial businesses, waste and residual materials are transformed into fuels and, last but by no means least, biomass is recycled or used to generate energy. These three areas of expertise alone reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 416,000 tonnes every year – and are, therefore, getting as close as technically possible to achieving fully closed cycles. The Lippe Plant flagship project is becoming ever more effective. It is high time that this model becomes the norm so that future generations also have a planet worth living on.

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

Comprehensive range of services in Switzerland

  • No-one can beat the Swiss when it comes to innovations – a fact that was further underlined by the Global Innovation Index (GII) that was published just recently. Many food and beverage companies have settled in Switzerland as have chemicals and pharmaceutical businesses. The whole of the Swiss economy benefits from the innovations developed by these corporations. A chance, too, for REMONDIS Schweiz AG – an important player in the recycling market there – to offer and expand its comprehensive range of services to all the different industries.

In the country since 1994

The strong growth enjoyed by the chemicals and pharmaceutical industries in Switzerland over the last twenty years has also had a positive impact on REMONDIS Schweiz AG. In 1994, it purchased a share for the very first time in B. Spadin AG in Schaffhausen. In 1996, it then acquired Erb Recycling in Geneva. Both companies specialise in recovering precious metals and recycling hazardous waste. They also accelerated the development of REMONDIS Schweiz AG. Today, the company has 130 employees and operates 55 vehicles, three treatment facilities and two recycling centres. “We focus on the core industries of Switzerland’s dynamic economy. Our goal is to make the most of our strengths to drive our business in the most important segments,” explained Pierre-André Vasseur, chairman of the board of directors.

REMONDIS Schweiz AG

Specialists for medical waste

The range of services offered by REMONDIS Schweiz AG has been influenced by the development of the Swiss economy. It is, therefore, one of the first firms that hospitals, doctors and pharmacies call when they need to have their medical waste collected and recycled. There are many medical professionals in Switzerland and, consequently, a large number of doctors’ practices, clinics and research institutes around the country. Besides providing its customers with a range of specialist on-site services, REMONDIS also guarantees that all residual waste is treated using hygienic and environmentally friendly means and in line with all legal regulations. A dedicated team of experts has been set up in Switzerland to support dentists and dental laboratories. One of their primary tasks here is to ensure the amalgam used in dentistry is collected safely. Amalgam fillings are made of alloys that contain mercury and so need to be processed under special conditions.

In-depth knowledge of the chemicals industry as well

The Swiss recycling industry has also been shaped by the country’s chemicals and pharmaceutical businesses. It was from here that many companies originated, expanding throughout the whole of Europe. REMONDIS Schweiz AG is responsible for managing all waste management tasks at many of their plants. Moreover, its company, REMONDIS Waste Services AG, can be found in the well-known Infrapark in Muttenz, an industrial location that is home to many chemical and life science industries. Thanks to REMONDIS’ specialist expertise, it is able to provide the companies there with the complex services they need. REMONDIS Schweiz also owns a majority share in the hazardous waste treatment plant in the Canton of Geneva. 10,000t of the 25,000 tonnes of hazardous waste treated here each year are processed into liquid RDF for the cement industry. Its key customers also include businesses working in the aroma industry, for example perfume manufacturers.

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