REMONDIS has been working together with the prestigious glass manufacturer, Pilkington, for many years now and is responsible for managing all types of waste generated at a selection of their plants. The collaboration began at the Pilkington plant in Witten in 2003. The number of factories served by REMONDIS has gradually increased since then with Wesel, Bochum, Gladbeck and Gelsenkirchen being added to their list. In 2015, a further factory joined this group: Pilkington’s plant in Aken in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
REMONDIS’ waste management operations were extended to include Pilkington’s Aken plant on 01 January 2015. The project team from REMONDIS’ West Region drew up a bespoke waste management and logistics concept for the factory. To be able to do this, they first carried out a detailed analysis of the waste management and logistics systems that the plant had in place at the time so that they could discover where there was room for sustainable improvement. The REMONDIS team not only looked at the systems being used to collect the different types of waste but also how these linked in with the various production processes.
Once the analysis had been completed, REMONDIS compiled a comprehensive report for Pilkington with its list of suggestions for improvement. Pilkington was also given extensive guidelines on the reorganisation of its waste management system which also showed how the changes would improve the company’s environmental performance. Thomas Wällering, project development manager at REMONDIS, explained: “By doing this, we could clearly demonstrate the tangible benefits of such a set-up for Pilkington. One example was how we would be able to considerably reduce the volume of high cost waste that needed to be sent for disposal during the first twelve months.”
Courses were held for the Pilkington employees and a user-friendly colour-coding system introduced throughout the factory to improve waste segregation at the plant.
The new waste management concept has proven to be a great success, in particular thanks to the optimised logistics and general improvements made along the whole of the production line. Pilkington has also opted to deploy one of REMONDIS’ own waste management specialists at its Aken plant. This employee works on site at the factory and is responsible for managing the waste and waste logistics inside the plant. Such responsibilities range from coordinating the individual waste management measures, to organising the transport of the materials to the various recycling and processing facilities, all the way through to ensuring all relevant rules and regulations are adhered to.
A further REMONDIS employee has been working on site at Pilkington’s factory in Bochum since July, where the company has been responsible for all waste management matters for a while now. This waste management specialist is there to manage the waste collection point and to organise the collection and emptying of the various containers. One special feature here has been the management of old wood at the factory. The REMONDIS specialist organises and runs the system throughout the Bochum plant. Reusable wooden racks that are in good condition are returned to the suppliers and poorer qualities are compacted on site and sent for timber recycling. These efforts have considerably reduced transport costs.
”Our optimisation concepts provide our industrial and commercial customers with exclusive, top quality solutions. We always take a close look at the way the personnel carry out their work and the time they need to handle waste materials as these are very important factors.“
Arne Ringkowski, REMONDIS project engineer
Arne Ringkowski, a project engineer at REMONDIS, commented: “Our optimisation concepts provide our industrial and commercial customers with exclusive, top quality solutions. We always take a close look at the way the personnel carry out their work and the time they need to handle waste materials as these are very important factors.” An analysis is carried out to determine the distance the employees must walk to reach the waste collection points and how much time is needed to do this. By improving the system, REMONDIS is able to increase productivity at their customers’ business as well as reduce their costs. At the end of the day, a plant’s waste management costs are greatly influenced by internal factors and the expense of the in-house waste management set-up.
Pilkington are global pioneers in glass production who became a well-known name after they developed the float process, the fundamental process used to produce sheet glass. In 2006, the company became part of the Japanese NSG Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of glass and glass products. NSG has a global workforce of around 27,000 people. The group has production facilities in 28 different countries and markets its products in over 130 countries.