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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

Amendment came into force on 01 August

Conserving resources, increasing recycling rates and promoting the circular economy: these are the three main goals behind the amended German Commercial Waste Ordinance (GewAbfV) that came into force on 01 August. This latest version replaces the previous German Commercial Waste Ordinance that had been passed in 2002. It would have been impossible, over the long term, for the German and EU climate targets to have been met with the 2002 version – primarily because the most has not been made (to date) of the opportunities available to recycle commercial waste and construction and demolition waste. The result: a new set of rules has been drawn up on segregating, pre-treating and documenting commercial waste that applies to all commercial waste producers.

  • Various types of waste are affected

    In order to ensure different waste streams are kept apart from each other so they can be recycled, the new ordinance stipulates exactly how waste should be separated and stored on a business premises. Waste must now be segregated into the following categories at the place it is produced:

      • Paper, card & cardboard
      • Glass
      • Plastics
      • Metals
      • Wood
      • Textiles
      • Organic waste
      • If applicable, other types of commercial & industrial waste

    Commercial businesses operating building sites must also segregate and store glass, plastics, metals, wood, insulation material, bitumen mixtures, gypsum-based building materials, concrete and bricks/roof tiles as well as wall/floor tiles and ceramic products separately. These new regulations mean that businesses need to considerably increase the number of bins and containers they have on their premises so that their materials are recycled in the best possible way.

  • Separating waste is an absolute must

    Herwart Wilms, REMONDIS managing director, said that the amendment was not only necessary to achieve the EU’s targets, it also very much facilitated the German government’s goal to increase recycling rates. “We have to conserve our planet’s natural resources so that there are sufficient raw materials for future generations. Segregating waste at source is the only solution. Sorting plants are not able to separate waste as effectively or as well which means they are a second-rate alternative when it comes to conserving resources. What’s more, they are also very expensive for customers,” he explained.

    A summary of all new rules, detailed information about the new paperwork and which companies are exempt and a tool to calculate how much waste you already separate can be found on our new website remondis-gewerbeabfallverordnung.de

    Having said this, though, some businesses may find it practically impossible to separate their waste as stipulated in the ordinance. They may, for example, have too little space for so many bins or produce such small volumes of waste that it would be unreasonable – both technically and financially – to expect them to store their different waste streams separately. In such cases, these companies will be permitted to throw their commercial or demolition/construction waste into one bin. They must, however, be able to prove that these materials were sent to and processed by a sorting plant. In exceptional cases, this obligation may no longer apply if it is not technically or economically feasible to sort these materials. Companies that are particularly environmentally friendly, i.e. they already separate at least 90% of their commercial waste, are exempt from these new rules. They will be released from their obligation to pre-treat their waste if they are able to submit proof of their high waste segregation rates, which must also have been confirmed by an expert. Their remaining commingled waste may then be sent for thermal treatment.

REMONDIS can provide a helping hand

Besides having to have more bins and containers on their premises, waste producers now have considerable more paperwork to complete. REMONDIS is more than happy to help anyone running a commercial business to ensure they meet their new obligations. In such cases, REMONDIS employees travel to their business to analyse the way their waste is being handled so they can adapt their system to optimise waste segregation. If requested, they can also compile a report detailing the business’ waste statistics, including what percentage of materials is currently being separated. “A customer can see how successful a system is by observing how their waste segregation rates improve. What’s more, our unique Sustainability Certificate provides official proof of how their waste management measures help protect the environment – showing how consumption of primary raw materials and energy is reduced and greenhouse gas emissions cut. A success that not only further promotes environmental awareness but also gives businesses a competitive edge,” concluded Herwart Wilms.

Do you need advice or have you got a specific question that needs answering? Then simply contact your REMONDIS adviser or give your local REMONDIS offices a call. remondis-locations.com

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