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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

Award for a novel technique to recover phosphorus

  • The IFAT has had a great track record – from the first time it was held in 1966 (147 exhibitors / 10,200 visitors) all the way through to the latest event. Around 138,000 visitors from more than 170 countries travelled to Munich this year to attend the IFAT, which was held between 30 May and 03 June. With the number of participants once again increasing, it can clearly be seen just how important the IFAT has become for the environmental technology sector over the last 50 years. Once again, REMONDIS was at the forefront with a newly designed stand and new recycling processes. One of these – TetraPhos for recovering phosphorus from sewage sludge ash – was presented with the coveted GreenTec Award on the evening before the exhibition opened.

A visit to the IFAT is a must

  • The number of different nationalities attending the world's largest trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management was once again impressive this year. Ludger Rethmann, Board Chairman at REMONDIS, is in no doubt “that the IFAT continues to be the undisputed leading exhibition for recycling, water and industrial and municipal services. The fair attracts people from all over the world, spreading its message of how our planet’s natural resources could be used more sustainably right across the globe.” The ‘Top Ten’ nationalities visiting the IFAT this year (following Germany) were Austria, Italy, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Denmark and Turkey. There was also a significant increase in the number of visitors from Australia, China, Israel and Singapore. In fact, a good 47 percent of all those visiting the fair came from abroad. A total of 3,097 exhibitors (1,695 national / 1,402 international firms) from 59 countries showcased their latest innovations at the event which covered an area of 230,000 square metres. Never before had the share of international exhibitors (45%) been so high.

    • Fewer and fewer raw materials for more and more people – how can this dilemma be solved? What would appear to be a conundrum of ‘squaring the circle’ is in fact the huge task facing the recycling and water sectors, who showcased their innovative solutions at the IFAT in Munich. REMONDIS attended the event as always and was presented with an award for one of its innovations

  • The share of international visitors has grown considerably

Distinguished guests at REMONDIS’ stand

  • REMONDIS welcomed prestigious guests from Germany and abroad to its stand at the IFAT in Munich. These included Johannes Remmel, Environmental Minister of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, who was clearly impressed by the company’s latest innovations. REMONDIS International invited the Deputy Minister of the Building Industry and HCA of the Russian Federation, Andrey Tchibis, to Munich who also took this opportunity to present the latest Russian recycling laws during the BDE Forum. The minister, who is responsible for the development of this key industry in Russia, took part in discussions, with REMONDIS’ support, to explore how the Ministry for the Building Industry and HCA of the Russian Federation and the German recycling sector might be able to work together in the future.

    • Andrey Abramenko (left), Head of the Clearing & Waste Management Department of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Organising Committee, during his visit to REMONDIS’ stand at the IFAT in Munich. On his right: Swetlana Bigesse and Hendrik Vonnegut, Managing Directors of REMONDIS Russia

One of the highlights: REMONDIS’ award

  • One particular highlight for REMONDIS this year was winning a GreenTec Award for TetraPhos, its innovative process to recover phosphoric acid from sewage sludge ash. This process was developed and patented by REMONDIS together with its public sector partner HamburgWasser, where a large pilot plant has been set up in Hamburg Harbour. The IFAT is a perfect platform for presenting such innovations as well as a great networking opportunity for partners and customers working within the industry. The event will, therefore, continue to be the leading trade fair for water, sewage, waste and raw materials management in the future as well.

    Ulrike Scharf, Bavarian State Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection, spoke to REMONDIS board members and managing directors at the IFAT about the challenges of protecting the environment and curbing climate change. On her left: Andreas Bankamp, Managing Director REMONDIS Aqua

A few impressions of the IFAT

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