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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

Seal of quality awarded for the fifth year running

    • For the fifth time running, EURAWASSER Nord GmbH, a fully owned subsidiary of REMONDIS Aqua, has been issued with the RAL Quality Mark (Gütezeichen) for its sewer construction work by the RAL German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification – once again fulfilling all the quality criteria and underlining the high calibre of its work. ‘Gütegemeinschaft Kanalbau’, the organisation appointed by RAL to carry out the quality audits, visited EURAWASSER in June to see whether its in-house quality management and control systems were still up to standard. Its report confirmed that all regulations were being systematically complied with and that all of the company’s technical equipment was working properly.

In-depth audit

  • RAL’s central office responsible for sewer network services had to carry out extensive work before the actual audit began to ensure that the inspection could be documented correctly. The audit engineers then arrived at EURAWASSER where they first inspected the company grounds and a number of building sites to check the operatives were complying with the technical rules and regulations set out for cleaning and inspecting sewers. Moreover, they also took a close look at the technology being deployed to make sure the various machines were working properly. Other criteria examined during the audit included scrutinising the instructions given to the staff and the way their work was documented as well as checking that all health and safety laws were being adhered to. Furthermore, the company had to provide proof that all their employees had attended courses to refresh and further extend their professional skills and qualifications.

    The auditors checked a number of criteria including the standard of staff training courses and compliance with technical rules

Praise & incentive to do even more

Having analysed the audit’s results, RAL’s committee has now officially confirmed that EURAWASSER Nord GmbH has passed the inspection and issued the company with the quality mark for sewer construction work. Jörg Abel, head of RAL’s central office responsible for sewer network services, commented: “This quality mark is valid for a period of 12 months and underlines the performance and expertise of the staff as well as the high standard of the company’s in-house quality management system. It promotes sustainable development and also provides EURAWASSER with an incentive not only to continue its personnel development courses but also to adopt and implement the wide range of technical information supplied by RAL and other specialist organisations. This will help further cement the specialist knowledge and performance of the company.”

  • The quality mark is valid for 12 months and underlines the performance and expertise of EURAWASSER Nord GmbH

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