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  • Dear Readers!

    “I believe in horses. Automobiles are a passing phenomenon.” These are the words said to have been uttered by the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, at the time when mobility was going through a radical change. No one can say for sure whether he really said this or not but it is a quote that is often used as an example of people badly misjudging the importance of an invention – and not just by futurologists. Today, mobility is once again undergoing a radical change. In some areas of the country, air quality has deteriorated so much that politicians, industrial businesses and consumers are being forced to rethink the way they act, in particular in large cities. The diesel scandal has simply further aggravated the situation. The first councils have begun banning old diesel cars from using the roads where air pollution is highest. At the same time, city planners are focusing almost entirely on creating living space and high quality office buildings. In contrast, tradespeople and commercial businesses, such as recycling firms, are gradually being pushed further and further outside the city. Their work though should continue to be quiet, free of dust and, wherever possible, without CO2 or NOX emissions.

    It’s definitely time to start thinking about possible alternatives. What could be better than using one of the country’s waste streams – i.e. organic waste – as a source of post-fossil fuel and, by doing so, enable waste collections to be carbon-neutral and practically free of fine particulate and NOX emissions? REMONDIS has begun a pilot project near Cologne to do just this and is currently testing six vehicles run on biogas.

    The recycling industry has a new market player: the Schwarz Group (Lidl), which has an annual turnover of EUR 96.7 billion (2017) – bigger than the whole of the German recycling sector put together. Earlier this year, the Schwarz Group’s subsidiary, Green Cycle, purchased Tönsmeier, the fifth-largest recycling company in Germany, acquiring a volume of sales three times bigger than all of the acquisitions made by REMONDIS in 2016 and 2017. Industry experts believe that the Schwarz Group will also enter Germany’s ‘Dual System’ market (kerbside collection of sales packaging) in the not too distant future.

    There is so much happening in the German recycling market at the moment – a market which, according to the “Status Report on the German Circular Economy”, has around 10,800 companies competing against each other. While none of the private sector firms has a monopoly in any area of the waste management and recycling industry, the trend towards councils renationalising waste services continues unabated leading to the creation of regional monopolies. As a result, the private sector’s share of the market is also slowly decreasing. At present, for example, its share of conventional waste collection services lies at around 50% of the overall market. As always, we hope you enjoy reading this latest issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL.

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

A robust concept

The ‘Energy Scouts’ project is a joint initiative set up by the Dortmund Chamber of Commerce (IHK), EnergieAgentur.NRW and Effizienz-Agentur NRW that aims to make apprentices in their region more aware of the importance of energy and resource efficiency. Three REMONDIS apprentices decided to enter the competition, putting their heads together to come up with the “REMONDIS Smart Heater Efficiency” concept that involved them developing an energy-efficient central heating system for one of the office buildings on the Lippe Plant – a concept that has now won them first place.

Smart heating system wins top prize

The three award-winning ‘Energy Scouts’, Mark Feiler, Lea Sacharzek and Jean-Patrick Nolte, developed the project in collaboration with Kai-Erik Sattler and Lukas Matuschka (both responsible for energy management) and have become genuine efficiency heroes. Their new system of decentralised radiators, which are able to factor in door/window movement and outdoor temperatures, can reduce carbon emissions by more than 8,000 kilograms every year and cut energy consumption by 32,000 kilowatt hours. This means that the investment costs can be recovered within just two and a half years.

    CO2 emissions can be cut by 8,000kg every year thanks to the REMONDIS Smart Heater Efficiency concept

  • 1st place ahead of 16 other competitors

    • What’s more, REMONDIS’ Smart Heater Efficiency portal makes it possible for the room temperature to be automatically adjusted after office hours, at weekends as well as during the holiday period. While the project is still in the process of being implemented, the team’s idea has already won them a prize. They beat their local competition (16 other competitors) from the districts of Dortmund, Hamm and Unna to take part in the national finals in Berlin at the end of June.

      Mark Feiler, Lea Sacharzek and Jean-Patrick Nolte (from left to right) won Gold for their Energy Scout project idea

Workshops hosted by the Chamber of Commerce

They took a look around and found the input they needed for their idea at one of the office buildings, where the rooms were being aired wrongly, the radiators had old thermostats and were permanently turned on and the outside temperature played no role whatsoever. This was, therefore, also the place where they could save the highest amount of energy. “The high energy consumption levels, which lay at around 160,000 kilowatt hours a year, were crying out for a new and innovative control system,” explained Mark Feiler, who is training to become an industrial management assistant at REMONDIS Production.

To be an ‘Energy Scout’, the apprentices had to recognise where energy consumption could potentially be cut at their employer’s, to document this and to take steps to bring this about.

Before they began working on their concept, the apprentices first took part in a practical workshop organised by the Chamber of Commerce to teach them more about resource conservation and Germany’s switch from fossil fuels to renewables. The workshop was divided up into three modules and enabled them to look into energy and energy efficiency in more detail as well as to enhance their project work and communication skills.

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