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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

Focusing on saving energy & resources

  • KlimaExpo.NRW officially named the recycling activities at the Lippe Plant in Lünen as one of the best pioneering projects in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) during its annual event, “Climate Protection as an Engine for Progress 2016 – Outstanding Pioneers”, which was held in Düsseldorf on 23 June. KlimaExpo.NRW plans to present twelve pioneering projects from NRW, which have a positive impact on our climate, each year until 2022. It is looking for innovative projects that conserve natural resources and help reduce energy consumption for its “Saving Resources” category – and found this at REMONDIS’ Lippe Plant in Lünen three times over.

A wide range of activities at the Lippe Plant

“The efforts being made to prevent climate change are an engine for progress for both the economy and society as a whole – and this can clearly be seen by the KlimaExpo.NRW projects. The way the award winners have demonstrated just how sustainable our state can be is truly impressive. They are also a great incentive for all of us to step up our efforts to find innovative business ideas to help prevent climate change,” commented Minister President Hannelore Kraft. At the Lippe Plant in Lünen, 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. A great example of efficient recycling.

REMONDIS’ plant in Lünen is home to a large number of facilities that are able to treat and recycle a wide range of waste for re-use. Sodium aluminate, for example, is recovered and used for treating wastewater or making binding agents and white pigments. FGD gypsum, generated by flue gas desulphurisation systems at fossil fuel power stations, is also processed here and transformed into binding agents.

Turning old into new

    Three excellent projects were honoured by NRW Environmental Minister Johannes Remmel for the “Saving Resources” category. Managing director Herwart Wilms accepted the award for the Lippe Plant on behalf of the company

    “At the Lippe Plant, we turn the things that people no longer want or need into raw materials for new products or into fuels. This award, which KlimaExpo.NRW has presented to us, confirms that we are heading down the right path by looking at the whole picture when it comes to recycling materials. We are, for example, completely energy self-sufficient here in Lünen,” explained Herwart Wilms, managing director at REMONDIS Assets & Services GmbH & Co. KG, who accepted the award in Düsseldorf on behalf of the company.

    REMONDIS’ Lippe Plant clearly demonstrates how recycling can help prevent climate change.

    KlimaExpo.NRW is a cross-departmental initiative of the state government of NRW. It launched this project to ensure that the energy transition, the measures taken to curb climate change and any changes that have to be made as a result of global warming all act as key driving forces for economic and social development. The overall aim is to present successful innovative projects to as wide an audience as possible – also at international level – as well as to promote further collective action to tackle climate change.

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