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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

Major customer survey

FOCUS-MONEY magazine recently joined forces with the consultancy firm, ServiceValue, to hold a major customer survey to rate the fairness of waste management companies for the very first time. They took a close look at 16 private sector and seven public sector firms. REMONDIS was among the highest-rated companies.

REMONDIS was awarded the “good” rating in four of the five categories

How can fairness be measured?

Fairness is something that is very much subjective. To be able to measure this, a number of attributes were drawn up to enable the companies’ services to be rated which ServiceValue then integrated into a representative online study. In total, 1,615 customers were asked about 14 different aspects of the waste management services they had received. An evaluation of these so-called fairness attributes then enabled the subjective term, ‘fairness’, to be measured. Each person taking part in the study was allowed to rate up to two companies that they had worked with over the previous twelve months. A total of 1,791 customer assessments were evaluated. The experts had set out five fairness categories and divided up the 14 attributes among them. The companies that received above-average results were rated “good”.

Good grades for professional waste management

REMONDIS was awarded the “good” rating in four of the five categories. REMONDIS’ joint venture in Frankfurt, FES, was also listed in the above-average groups for each individual category. The customers only had good things to say about both companies when they rated their services for collecting and processing recyclables and hazardous waste. According to the customers, both are also very good at providing information about how to prevent waste. Those taking part also praised the services and infrastructure of the household recycling centres run by the companies. FES’ customer service did especially well. The participants particularly appreciated the fact that the company responded so quickly to their emails. Practically all of the waste management companies offer a mobile collection service for hazardous waste. REMONDIS received a great deal of praise in the special category, “Fairest hazardous waste collection service”. Their mobile service collects a variety of waste products including old batteries, oil, bulbs and chemicals, and is very popular – especially among people who are themselves not so mobile.

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