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  • Dear Readers!

    Equal opportunities are a tricky subject. It goes without saying, of course, that we believe all children should have the same opportunities to give them a fair start in life – no matter where they may be born. Indeed, we would consider it to be highly unfair if it weren’t the case. When it comes to equal opportunities in the waste management industry, however, Germany has created a seriously unfair competitive situation that is not only inefficient but also a financial burden for taxpayers and the private sector. The issue here is value added tax (VAT). Municipal companies are exempt from charging VAT and so have a price advantage of up to 19% over their private sector competitors. Whilst privately run firms are subject to VAT laws, municipal businesses are not – even though they provide exactly the same service. The results: privately owned companies are being pushed out of the market by state-owned monopolies, private sector jobs are being put at risk, revenue from business tax and VAT is falling, which, in the end, impacts negatively on local authorities. A recent legal report published by Professor Roman Seer from the Institute for Tax Law and Tax Procedure Law at the Ruhr University in Bochum has revealed that this system is in breach of the law – with consumers paying a heavy price.

    Rhenus Recycling has now become REMONDIS Recycling – an excellent addition to REMONDIS’ portfolio. All glass, plastics and textile recycling activities are now in the hands of the recycling specialists REMONDIS. Thanks to this move, the company’s customers will benefit from an even bigger and more closely knit network of recycling locations. The deposit return system for managing the return of drinks bottles and cans is also part of this portfolio and will also be run under REMONDIS’ name in the future. One of the reasons why German consumers do not need to return bottles to the supermarket they actually bought them from is because REMONDIS Recycling operates seven counting centres for disposable bottles across the whole of Germany and offers a reliable IT system with comprehensive billing services for food retailers and industrial businesses. Welcome to REMONDIS.

    It is extremely important in these turbulent times for companies to be aware of their social responsibilities. This is perhaps a little easier for REMONDIS being a provider of recycling services as it has an excellent sustainability record and can offer 33,000 people a permanent job – but there is always more that can be done. Whether it be investing in educational projects such as the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS, helping to make children more traffic aware to keep them safe on our roads or donating a vacuum truck to improve living conditions at a refugee camp in Iraq. REMONDIS and all its employees work hard each and every day to make our world that little bit better. Maybe this was the reason why 632 young people have chosen to start an apprenticeship at our company this year – ‘working for the future’. A very big welcome to all our new colleagues at REMONDIS.

    Yours

    Max Köttgen

An ideal site with a very special history

Kompostierungsgesellschaft Region Osnabrück, a REMONDIS joint venture more commonly known as KRO, not only supplies high quality soils, it also stands on historic soil. The history of this region stretches all the way back to the Roman Empire and Augustus – although few were aware of this until just recently. It was, in fact, purely by chance that archaeologists discovered this was the site of the famous Battle of the Teutoburg Forest – around 2,000 years later. This moorland, which Varus' legions found such hard going, has proven to be the ideal location for one of Germany’s largest composting plants. Just a few kilometres from the site of the battle, KRO is now helping to preserve this moorland and others like it.

  • Greater efficiency, better fire protection

    It all began with a fire at the old composting plant back in 2014. The flames had caused so much damage that the facility had to close down its operations. With this predominantly agricultural region having such a good infrastructure and being so conveniently located, the decision was soon made to rebuild the plant. The most has been made here of the experience gathered from the REMONDIS Group’s many other organic waste treatment plants to improve the technology and cost-effectiveness of the new facility. As a result, it is to be considerably upgraded with more efficient processes, better fire protection and high quality and more cost-effective building materials. Unlike the old facility which met the EU efficiency class IE3, KRO will only be using motors that meet the higher efficiency class IE4 in its new composting plant – leading to a further 10% reduction in carbon emissions compared to current standards.

    • The new motors with the higher efficiency class IE4

Compost as a substitute for peat

  • As it is, the compost itself helps improve the quality of soils and contributes towards preventing climate change. Compost enhances agricultural land making it an ideal substitute for natural turf or peat. Peat is a raw material that is formed very slowly: on average, a moorland’s peat layer grows by just 1mm a year. 8,000 years, for example, were needed for the Teufelsmoor (Devil’s Moor) near Worpswede in the north of Germany to be formed.

    Organic compost helps protect moorland.

    Peaty moorland is extremely important for the environment as it can store far more carbon than rainforests. In fact, even though moorland landscapes only cover 3% of the earth’s surface, they absorb twice the amount of carbon than all the forests in the world. What’s more, the water-logged soils have a positive impact on our climate, as evaporation lowers the temperature. Using compost, such as that made in Bohmte, therefore, is a sustainable way of protecting our environment and curbing global warming.

Annual capacity: 120,000 tonnes

The new plant will produce organic fertiliser that is far more environmentally friendly than many other fertilisers currently available on the market. When it has been completed, it will be able to handle an impressive 120,000 tonnes per year. Whilst plans are for it to only process biowaste from the organic waste bins, it will also be able to treat variable volumes of tree and plant cuttings. By building such a flexible facility, KRO will be able to respond to both market changes and its customers’ wishes. To begin with, it will be accepting materials from the city and district of Osnabrück, although this is expected to be extended to cover other regions in north Germany. All that is needed now is for the politicians to play their part.

  • “The fact that the new German fertiliser ordinance puts compost and liquid manure on par with each other makes no sense whatsoever. Indeed, this decision is likely to have a negative impact on the efforts currently being made to promote organic waste bins in order to close organic material cycles.”

    Wolfgang Schöning, KRO

  • Politicians must step up

    “The fact that the new German fertiliser ordinance puts compost and liquid manure on par with each
    other makes no sense whatsoever. Indeed, this decision is likely to have a negative effect on the efforts currently being made to promote organic waste bins in order to close organic material cycles,” explained KRO managing director, Wolfgang Schöning. KRO believes changes must be made here and made quickly. Politicians need to amend the German fertiliser ordinance so that compost keeps its special status as a sustainable and environmentally friendly soil improver. Unlike liquid manure, using compost does not impact negatively on groundwater. The laws passed to prevent climate change, to protect our lakes and rivers and to improve soils must not contradict each other. High quality compost is an environmentally friendly product that can help achieve all three goals.

    KRO Managing Directors, Arne Tiedemann and Wolfgang Schöning, at the site in Bohmte where the new composting plant is being built

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