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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

REMONDIS lends its support

Climate change has certainly been one of the most publicly debated subjects over the last few years. Countless articles have been written by the media, diverse campaigns, projects, groups and research institutes have been founded – all of them to promote environmental protection and to tackle global warming. The number of facts being published about this issue is growing all the time and yet schools and universities must still look to the media, the business world and charitable organisations for support in this area. The teachers attending this year’s Children’s Climate Day were obviously impressed by the many educational projects that were on offer.

  • An interesting programme full of ideas

    On 01 July, 400 schoolchildren of varying ages made their way to SASE’s offices in Iserlohn to take part in a special event that gave them the opportunity to look more closely at the subjects of climate change and recycling. The association, ‘Klimaschutz durch Kreislaufwirtschaft e. V.’ [Recycling to prevent climate change], had succeeded in turning their idea of holding a Children’s Climate Day into reality in their very own city. The head of the association, Yvonne Busch, had called on all members to join in and present their educational projects as part of the NRW.KlimaTage2017 [NRW Climate Days]. The result was an enjoyable and interesting day for all, with a whole range of entertaining hands-on events for the children and a wide variety of information and teaching material for their teachers. A total of five classes (Years 3 to 6) spent the morning taking a close look at how waste collection vehicles work and playing educational games to learn more about how to segregate waste and save energy.

    • Children’s Climate Day was a fun, hands-on event that really got the children thinking about the environment

Not enough environmental education at schools

At present, very little time is dedicated to such subjects in school classrooms. One of the reasons for this is certainly because universities offering teacher training courses are not obliged to hold seminars on these topics. Whilst they are certainly pertinent to school subjects such as Geography, Biology, Politics and Social Studies, they are not a must. Private and non-profit educational institutes are, therefore, both an alternative and a motivator for those determining educational policies. The different German states have reacted very differently to each other. In Hessen, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, the government and charitable organisations are collaborating to help teachers learn more about environmental education; here, for example, the programme has been called “The courage to embrace sustainability”. It has, however, been taken up by less than five percent of all schools. KlimaExpo.NRW is without a doubt the most well-known project promoting environmental protection in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). It is calling on all institutions in NRW to present the ways they are attempting to curb global warming to a larger audience as well as to motivate others to join in. KlimaExpo.NRW would also like schools to play an active role here.

  • The RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS also took part

    Which is why it decided to hold the NRW Climate Days for the first time this year – an event that also proved to be the perfect backdrop for organising the first ever Children’s Climate Day. Both members of the Klimaschutz durch Kreislaufwirtschaft e.V. and the KlimaExpo.NRW associations took part – including REMONDIS and its RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS, the recycling firm Lobbe from Iserlohn, the NRW Consumer Advice Centre and the educational :metabolon project from the Rhineland region. The RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS kicked off the day with their educational theatre show to get everyone in the right mood. The children then moved outside splitting up into groups and going from one tent to the next (six in all) every 30 minutes. The RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS’ offered its visitors a number of races as well as creativity and dexterity games. The Consumer Advice Centre organised various activities including a guessing game similar to one found on the kids’ German TV programme ‘1,2 or 3’ and Lobbe had brought along one of their waste collection vehicles for the children to look at.

    A whole selection of stands were set up to teach the children about climate change – such as the Consumer Advice Centre’s stand here


  • The :metabolon project

    The :metabolon project held a number of renewable energy experiments which the children were able to take part in. “It’s incredible just how fast the kids come up with a good environmental solution. Which is all the more reason for passing on our knowledge to them as quickly as possible. The earlier they learn, the quicker they’ll be able to come to grips with the situation in the future and become great ambassadors for all areas,” commented Monika Lichtinghagen-Wirths, managing director of :metabolon. This project is based in the town of Leppe where it has created an extracurricular place of learning that is unique across Europe and is still being supported by the European Union today. Built on an old landfill site, this centre offers a whole range of educational programmes promoting environmental technology. Research centres, educational centres for schoolchildren and students and an Energy Competence Center are all open to visitors. It is not, however, just about learning – a large section of the grounds has also been dedicated to leisure and recreational activities for those wishing to relax.

    Many eyes lit up when they saw the waste collection vehicle – especially the boys’

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