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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 

Important for managing waste from both regional and national customers

  • REMONDIS UK has begun operations at its new hazardous waste recycling plant in Prescot in the north west of the UK. Strategically located in Merseyside between the industrial centres of Liverpool and Manchester, this facility will play an important role managing waste from its many municipal, commercial and industrial customers from the region and beyond.

Facility fills gap between Liverpool and Manchester

  • The new facility is considered to be the most advanced of its kind in Europe and can process up to 69,000 tonnes. A whole range of materials will be able to be transferred and recycled here – from residual paints and varnishes, industrial solutions and oils to laboratory waste and many other types of wastes that need to be handled and treated with particular care. As a result, the plant is filling a gap in the recycling market in this region whose largest cities, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, have always been among the most important industrial cities in Europe, and not just since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th Century.

  • The new plant in Prescot

Prescot delivers a full range of recycling services

  • The subject of sustainability is, of course, a guiding principle in the United Kingdom as well – a subject that has been influencing REMONDIS' business activities for many years now. The goal both here and there is to recover as many materials as possible from the waste so that they can be returned to the commercial cycle. To be able to do this, REMONDIS provides its customers in the UK with a complete chain of modern services – from collecting, transporting and recycling the waste to marketing the reclaimed raw materials.

    This recycling plant in Prescot will see REMONDIS UK's operational capacity increase by more than 330%. The facility guarantees the safe and professional transfer and recycling of significant volumes of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Operating 24/7, 365 days a year, it is also in the best possible position to handle emergency spillages at its industrial customers and so prevent such accidents from having a negative impact on the environment. Complying with the strictest of environmental standards, the recycling and treatment processes are carried out using state-of-the-art technology. A full monitoring system for air and liquid waste emissions ensures that nothing leaves the site without being checked. Around 40 members of REMONDIS' staff have moved from the company's site in Bolton to the new Carr Lane plant and new jobs have also been created. Thanks to the opening of the new plant, REMONDIS has contributed to further growth in the region. 

    The recycling processes meet the strictest of environmental standards.

Exemplary treatment of hazardous waste

Steve Moore, director of the North West Environment Agency, was impressed by the new site: “It is fantastic to see a global business like REMONDIS starting to make a real impact in the UK. The site here at Prescot, Merseyside, will obviously set a new benchmark for the hazardous waste industry. The thinking that has gone into the design of this plant is exceptional – both in terms of creating an effective business process and keeping environmental protection at its heart. We look forward to working with REMONDIS on this and its wider investment into the waste industry in the UK. If Carr Lane is anything to go by, REMONDIS can only be good for the economy and good for the environment.”

  • ”If Carr Lane is anything to go by, REMONDIS can only be good for the economy and good for the environment.”

    Steve Moore, Director of the North West Environment Agency

Praise from the highest level

His Worshipful The Mayor of Knowsley, Councillor Brian O’Hare, appreciated the high environmental standards of the facility and underlined just how important such an investment is for the local job market: “I was very impressed by the high standard of the facilities and the layout of the plant, as well as all of the measures which REMONDIS has put in place to cater for any eventuality. In addition, I welcome the recruitment process which has ensured employment for local people, as well as developing a knowledge base in Merseyside for the unique process being carried out to ensure the recovery of materials for recycling or reuse in other industries.”

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