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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 detailed look at the private sector

How come Germany’s waste management and recycling sector is ahead of the others? What role has the private sector played in this development? The answers to these and other questions can be found in the new book, “Solid Waste Management”.

  • 200 pages long

    The book looks back at the development of the German waste management sector over the last 100 years or so and takes a look ahead at the global challenges that will have to be faced in the future. This 200-page book has been published by SASE, an Iserlohn-based company whose primary objective is to share its knowledge with others.

A wide range of subjects

Full of photos and images, the new book gives an interesting insight into how the industry has developed over the past decades. Subjects range from the first attempts to organise town cleaning operations all the way through to the country’s ever more complex waste management and raw material activities. A close look is taken at the period after the German Waste Law was introduced in 1972, i.e. when national regulations were in place regulating the disposal of waste. A number of subjects have grown in importance since this law came into force such as waste avoidance, waste management in general, recycling and the circular economy.

SASE has also published three books in German about urban environmental protection.

The section covering today’s waste management industry includes a number of practical examples to demonstrate what private sector companies, such as REMONDIS, have been focusing on in the 21st Century: namely to turn waste into a source of raw materials to help guarantee supplies, protect the environment and curb climate change. By the way, the foreword was written by Ludger Rethmann. It was his grandfather who laid the foundations for today’s REMONDIS Group back in 1934.

  • Click here to order the book online

    • Solid Waste Management (2018/Englisch)
      ISBN: 978-3-9813894-3-2
      Price: 19.95 euros + post & packaging
      Available from: buch@sase-iserlohn.de 

      The money raised from the sale of the book will be used to help fund SASE’s non-profit work in the area of environmental education

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