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  • Dear Readers!

    There is a political stalemate in Germany at the moment. With four of the six parties elected to Germany’s new Parliament failing to find a compromise so that they can form a government, the country’s political future – at the time we went to print – is more uncertain than ever. A so-called Jamaica coalition, which gets its name from the colours of the different parties: black for the two Conservative coalition partners CDU and CSU, yellow for the Liberals FDP, and green for the Bündnis90/Die Grünen (the colours of the Jamaican flag), would appear to no longer be an option after the parties’ exploratory talks broke down on 19 November. At the same time, the Social Democrats seem to be sticking to their decision not to form another ‘grand coalition’ with their Conservative counterparts. There are certainly some huge political hurdles to overcome. Whilst some would prefer more state control, others are looking to follow a more typically liberal course with greater freedom for businesses. The Green’s desire to speed up the move towards an energy sector without fossil fuels (including shutting down coal-fired power stations and getting rid of internal combustion engines earlier than planned) is proving to be an obstacle for those with more conservative political interests. And, whilst the Liberals are finally fighting to expand digital networks in rural areas, the Conservatives would appear to be merely paying digital lip service to this subject.

    And yet there is no time to lose. The economy is already going through a structural change as a result of the next industrial revolution and this revolution is both digital and electrical. It has come at a time when the world is facing the huge challenges of climate change and a growing number of environmental problems which, in the end, will make it difficult to meet the global population’s needs.

    Even sand – a substance we would seem to be surrounded by – is becoming scarce. And, once again, it is our industry that has come up with a solution. If we are to curb global warming, move away from fossil fuels and conserve our planet’s raw materials, then setting up a genuine circular economy must be at the very centre of a government’s policy. If Germany, a country with so few natural resources of its own, is to remain an important industrial location in the future as supplies of raw materials become ever scarcer, then the spotlight must be turned on recycling. Recycling must be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, especially of product designers. The foundations were created for this when the Packaging Law was introduced during the last legislative period as this lays down product responsibility and market-based measures to promote recycling. What is needed now is to transfer these standards so that they apply to all products.
     
    There is always much to celebrate at the end of the year. REMONDIS is, for example, celebrating sixty years of plastics recycling at RE PLANO and, of course, that you – our custom-ers, friends, partners and employees – have remained loyal to us throughout the year. Together, day by day, we can help make the world that little bit more sustainable.
     
    We would like to thank you for your great support and collab-oration over the last twelve months and wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful New Year.

    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann

A large city and an important business centre

Düsseldorf has always been a special city. This town on the estuary of the Düssel, a small tributary of the River Rhine, was given the right to call itself a city way back in 1288. Since the end of the 14th Century, Düsseldorf has always been the seat of government for some country or principality and today, it is home to the state parliament of Germany’s most densely populated state, North Rhine-Westphalia. This city on the banks of the Rhine is one of the five most important business centres in Germany and one of the most international. What’s more, a comparison of the quality of life in the world’s 231 largest cities puts Düsseldorf in sixth place. Two reasons for this are the excellent public services and the fact that the city is so clean and tidy. This work is performed by AWISTA, a long-standing and highly successful public private partnership between Stadtwerke Düsseldorf and REMONDIS.

Main business: providing public services

  • The two main shareholders in AWISTA GmbH are the Düsseldorf utilities company, Stadtwerke Düsseldorf AG (51%), and the waste management firm, REMONDIS Rhein-Wupper GmbH & Co. KG (49%). AWISTA’s core business is providing public services such as waste management and city cleaning work. These are permanent tasks with the City of Düsseldorf being the company’s largest and most important customer – all services, including clearing roads of snow and ice in winter, have been set out in long-term agreements.

  • people work for the company in Düsseldorf

An improved performance

However, unlike the times when the business was part of the local authority set-up, AWISTA GmbH and its strategic partner, REMONDIS Rhein-Wupper GmbH & Co. KG, have looked far beyond the city’s boundaries. It also, for example, delivers public and commercial services to the Bergisches Land region via its subsidiary, AWISTA Logistik GmbH. What’s more, it is able to offer capacities for materials recycling and thermal treatment as well as for composting. The Düsseldorf-Reisholz (IDR-EG) site acts as a national hub for hazardous waste and it has guaranteed access to plants for sorting and recycling waste packaging and construction waste.

Being a public private partnership, it is extremely important that the business is run cost effectively as it is a basic right of all local inhabitants to have the best service for the best price. Efforts have constantly been made, therefore, to further improve operations. Whether it involves the workshop, waste collection services or the road cleaning division – every section has been looked at and optimised where possible. This has also included making the most of synergies by setting up a central materials management system and improving the way staff, vehicles and the workshop are deployed. It is also reflected in the company’s modern IT systems that are used to control processes and material streams as well as for centre management.

A wide range of services

  • Today, AWISTA’s portfolio of services goes way beyond “classic waste collection” work: modern three and four-axle vehicles are deployed to collect a whole range of different types of waste. The city cleaning department not only keeps the city’s roads clean but also provides cleaning services for special events, clears roads of snow and ice in winter and removes graffiti. What’s more, AWISTA plays a key role in special sporting and cultural events: from the Düsseldorf Marathon, to Japan Day, to the Rose Monday Parade – one of the biggest events in the city’s calendar.

    All in all, the company handles around 500,000 tonnes of waste from Düsseldorf every year.

    Together with its partner, REMONDIS Rhein-Wupper GmbH & Co. KG, and its affiliated companies, the company treats around one million tonnes of waste every year, a good fifty percent of which comes from Düsseldorf. Looking at the different plants and facilities, approx. 450,000 tonnes are incinerated, just under 200,000 tonnes are sent to landfill and 100,000 tonnes are recycled at composting plants.

    To be able to offer these services, it most certainly needs a team of qualified and motivated employees. Of the 770 people currently working in Düsseldorf, 256 are responsible for waste management and 280 for keeping the city clean. Each year, they empty around 10.4 million bins and clean 283,000 kilometres of roads and paths.

  • million bins are emptied every year

Extensive quality controls

  • In autumn, the team travels along Düsseldorf’s approx. 3,000 roads to collect the leaves that have fallen from the 67,000 trees so that they can be recycled. In winter, AWISTA keeps the roads safe and collects old Christmas trees – at the weekend and even late into the night. It has an accredited quality management system (DIN ISO EN 9001:2015) for its road-cleaning operations which involves regular inspections and all necessary documentation as well as a complaints management system. These quality controls are most certainly one of the reasons why AWISTA has so many satisfied customers and is so popular in
    Düsseldorf, this major city lying between the Rhine and
    the Wupper.

    AWISTA managing director, Björn Becker, makes sure the company always provides clean, high quality services

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