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  • Dear Readers!

    At the beginning of December, delegates from 195 UN member states and the EU travelled to Paris to try and find a compromise to curb global warming – a compromise which all countries should then honour. Their primary goal has been to find a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol which ends in 2020. They had not reached the end of their deliberations when this magazine went to print but one thing has become very clear: the significance of the recycling industry as a means to preventing climate change continues to be underestimated. And yet there are so many excellent examples that demonstrate how sending waste for materials recycling not only protects our environment and conserves our dwindling supplies of natural resources but also helps to curb global warming. REMONDIS’ Lippe Plant in Lünen reduces emissions of CO2 equivalents by almost half a million tonnes every year by recycling waste and producing regenerative energy. And this is just one plant in REMONDIS’ network of approx. 500 facilities. If the whole world were to use the full potential of the raw materials and energy hidden in waste, then recycling would put an end to global warming. Logically, Klima Expo.NRW has accepted three more of REMONDIS’ areas of expertise onto its list of qualified projects following the nomination of its biogas plant in Coesfeld at the beginning of the year. These and other recycling plants and projects will help to spread the message that recycling has a long list of advantages and is one of the best ways to counteract climate change.  

    Recycled paper is one of these raw materials that can help curb global warming: it can be used as a substitute for paper made from virgin fibres and so help reduce the need to fell our trees. The following figures clearly demonstrate that sustainable forest management is not at the top of every country’s list. We are currently losing around 13 million hectares or 130,000km² of forest every single year. That is the equivalent to a forest the size of England being cut down every year. Forests are an effective way of preventing climate change as each and every tree absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Paper recycling helps protect our forests and probably has the biggest impact on the carbon footprint of our informed society which still turns to paper formats as their main source of information despite the presence of the Internet. REMONDIS provides the paper industry with huge supplies of high quality recycled paper, helping the sector to become more sustainable.

    Sustainability, however, starts before recycling is actually needed. The European Waste Framework Directive puts re-use in second place after waste prevention and ahead of materials recycling. It is, therefore, a logical decision for Daimler, REMONDIS and a number of other partners to set up the world’s largest second use battery storage unit made from used lithium-ion batteries at the Lippe Plant. The batteries, which will come from the growing number of electric cars, still have 90 % of their storage capacity after they can no longer be used in the vehicles – more than enough to help stabilise the grid as more and more electricity is provided by fluctuating regenerative energy sources. After approx.10 years use in this battery storage unit, the batteries can then be sent for efficient materials recycling – perfectly closing the life cycle of this product.

    We would like to thank all our friends, partners and employees for their goodwill and loyalty throughout the past year and wish them a very happy Christmas and all the very best for the New Year. 

    Yours

    Max Koettgen

Cooperation with the prestigious glass manufacturer

  • 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.

Evaluation of the factory’s different processes

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.

Analysis & reorganisation

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 benefits of using external waste management specialists

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

Great efficiency & environmental protection

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: the world of glass technology

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.

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