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  • Dear Readers!

    Once again the world’s largest trade fair for the water, sewage, waste and raw materials sectors has opened its gates in Munich. As in previous years, hundreds of thousands of specialists from all around the globe are expected to attend the exhibition centre in the capital city of Bavaria this year. And once again, focus will be put on modern environmental technologies which aim to increase global recycling rates and make our planet more sustainable – and rightly so. We at REMONDIS love recycling and are doing everything that is economically viable and technologically possible to promote sustainability. However, no matter what recycling efforts are made, there is still that undeniable truth which people often prefer to ignore: at the end, there are always some materials left over. Each time residual and hazardous waste is thermally treated, it generates slag; each time a road is dug up or a building demolished, it produces mineral waste and construction waste. And after all possible substances have been sent for materials or thermal recycling, the question remains ‘what to do with the residue that cannot be recycled?’ The subject of sending waste to landfill appeared to have been taken care of in Germany when the ‘TaSi’ (Technical Directive on the Recycling, Treatment and Disposal of Municipal Waste) came into force in 2005. We are, therefore, now rubbing our eyes in disbelief as it becomes clear that a lack of landfill space – a problem believed to be something of the distant past – is, slowly but surely, threatening to catch up with us again. The City of Kaiserslautern has understood what is happening and has entered into a public private partnership with REMONDIS’ subsidiary, REMEX, to build a new landfill that will be able to accept 400,000 tonnes of mineral waste each year. This, too, is something that must be done for the future of the country.

    Some years ago, Prof. Klaus Töpfer, former Federal Minister of the Environment, introduced the so-called ‘dual system’ to take the pressure off household waste landfills and to push forward the country’s recycling activities. The recycling bin (known as the yellow bin in Germany because of its yellow lid) enabled recyclable and residual waste to be collected separately from households and proved to be a success for many years. Indeed, this concept was exported to many other countries. This system is now in danger of collapsing as a result of its own loopholes. Projected volumes of correctly licensed sales packaging will fall this year to just 812,000 tonnes, a 26 percent drop compared to last year, whilst the amount of waste sales packaging actually collected will remain the same at around 2.2 million tonnes. The honest system operators are having to bear this financial ‘gap’ and no-one is able to say how long it can survive. In this issue of REMONDIS aktuell, we look more closely at the question of whether the recycling bin has a future or whether it has finally reached the end of the line.

    No matter what the future brings, waste and raw materials will still have to be transported from A to B. Looking at the growing shortage of qualified truck drivers in Germany, however, this may soon be more easily said than done. Fewer and fewer young people are choosing to join this profession which is so important for road logistics. REMONDIS has taken action to counteract this trend and is offering more apprenticeship jobs in this area. The job of a truck driver is so much better than its image. The apprenticeship course offers much more than simply learning to drive a truck – it also teaches all about vehicle technology, infrastructure, logistics and mobility.

    As always, I hope you enjoy reading this edition of REMONDIS aktuell.

    Ludger Rethmann 

A wide range of uses

  • CASUL is an industrially produced, synthetic product that is manufactured by REMONDIS using a patented process it developed itself. This ”high-tech white mineral” is in high demand in a wide range of sectors. No matter whether it is used by the paper, paint or construction chemicals industries or for fire prevention measures, CASUL helps companies to reduce the amount of organic additives they need. Moreover, the special features of this product are in keeping with some important megatrends.

Megatrends have a huge influence on both society and the economy. In the best case scenario, they can lead to a discernible change in consumer behaviour which, in turn, can bring about a positive and sustainable change to our way of life. Two of the consumer trends of the future are ‘neo-recycling’ and the growing demand for products to be absolutely safe.

High stability and excellent quality

  • Neo-recycling focuses on sustainable production methods. Whereas recycling has had a slightly negative image in the past as it has been associated with waste, there is a growing trend to turn ‘shabby to chic’. Besides helping to conserve our planet’s natural resources, the goal of neorecycling is to take a product and give it a unique character which reflects both sustainability and quality. CASUL scores points in all these areas as this synthetic mineral is only produced from secondary raw materials – primarily from the sodium aluminate ‘ALUMIN HQ’, a recycled product from REMONDIS. As CASUL substitutes the extremely rare primary raw material, ettringit, the product embodies the ”shabby to chic” trend and makes an important contribution towards conserving natural resources. This is not, however, the only way it protects the environment. It is also odourless and biodegradable and enables many industries to manufacture products without the use of harmful biocides, preservatives or softeners.

    CasuBlanca, a non-toxic wall paint produced using CASUL, fulfils the highest standards and is also particularly suitable for allergy sufferers.

Awarded the ECARF quality seal

CASUL is also absolutely at one with the megatrend for healthy and safe products. Today, one of main demands of modern industrial societies is to be able to ”lead a healthy life”. CASUL helps this demand to be met as its production processes focus on safety and purity. CasuBlanca, an ecologically safe wall paint produced using CASUL, is not only a high quality and remarkably white product with an extremely high covering capacity. It is also particularly suitable for allergy sufferers – something completely unique among wall paints. ECARF (European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation) has confirmed that CasuBlanca is a completely safe product by awarding it its quality seal which allergy sufferers look for to find suitable anti-allergy products and services. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) certificate for the food industry has also been issued for the product – a further example, therefore, of just how safe it is. This certificate is handed out by the US authorities, the FDA, to protect public health.

Ready for the future right now

With its group of CASUL products, REMONDIS has shown once again just how important sustainability and safety are when it comes to manufacturing its own products. REMONDIS is, therefore, already taking on the responsibility today for the megatrends of the future.

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