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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 

The goal is greater energy efficiency

  • The goal of ISO 50001 energy management systems is to reduce the amount of energy consumed by a business. This ISO standard provides an international framework for companies helping them to reduce their energy costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions. All relevant processes at a company are analysed and optimised to make energy consumption more transparent and so discover ways of sustainably cutting energy costs. The result is greater energy efficiency. Having implemented the system, TSR has been reducing its costs by using a structured method to record and evaluate its consumption of electricity, diesel and gas. This has not only saved the company money but also helps to protect the environment.

  • TSR is taking active measures to combat rising energy costs

An increasing number of statutory levies

  • It only really became obvious just how valuable energy management systems can be when energy costs began to rise so steeply. This is particularly true for electricity as legal regulations, such as those found in Germany, are leading to consumers having to pay more and more for their electricity even though electricity trading prices have been dropping for years now. Over the last three years, the number of levies and charges has increased year on year and currently lies at six different levies (the ‘EEG levy’ (renewable energy), the offshore liability levy, the ‘KWK levy’ (combined heat and power), the concession levy, the ‘Section19 StromNEV’ levy (power grid compensation) and the levy for interruptible loads).

    The ongoing monitoring and optimisation of the facilities is part of the initiative to save energy

    In 2014, these made up around 50% of the net electricity price. The ‘EEG levy’ has been pushing costs up the most, lying at 6.24 cents per kilowatt hour in 2014. Compared to the year before (5.277 Ct/kWh), it has risen by 18.25%. TSR managing director Bernd Fleschenberg put it in a nutshell: ”Achieving energy efficiency is extremely impor- tant in all areas of our business if we are to counteract this trend of ever growing electricity costs. This is the only way to guarantee that our processing equipment – for example our shredders, shears and balers – can be run in the most cost-efficient way so that we can compete with businesses operating in neighbouring countries such as Holland and Belgium where electricity is, on average, much cheaper. Saving energy is a must so that TSR can maintain its strong  competitive position in the future, too.”

  • ”Saving energy is a must so that TSR can maintain its strong competitive position in the future, too.”

    Bernd Fleschenberg, Managing Director at TSR

Protecting the climate and cutting costs thanks to the energy management system

TSR identified this trend towards ever-rising energy costs and consumption very early on. In response to this, therefore, it decided to take action to achieve energy efficiency and, as a result, cut costs and so make an important contribution towards preventing climate change. Thanks to the recently introduced energy management system, TSR has been able to draw up a transparent overview of its energy consumption and develop key performance indicators as an energy benchmark. This includes indicators such as the number of kilowatt hours a machine consumes to process one tonne of material or how many litres of diesel an excavator requires for each operating hour. These will help them to identify inefficient ”consumers” and allow them to introduce measures to realise cost savings.

By introducing diverse optimisation measures, electricity consumption has been able to be reduced by 600,000 kWh.

TSR has succeeded in taking advantage of the energy management system and has already managed to reduce its energy consumption. And this success proves that these metal recyclers were right. In the first year alone, savings have been achieved by reducing the idle current. Moreover, an old diesel-run cable excavator in Duisburg was replaced with a new ‘balancer crane’ which consumes approx. 25% less energy than its predecessor.

Cutting costs by looking ahead

  • A further measure introduced into the Duisburg facility has been to increase shredder throughput and, at the same time, cut electricity input by around 6 kWh per tonne. These savings were made possible by improving the mode of operation and switching to the so-called ”full-box shredding” which makes the most of the shredder’s capacity. Put in figures, electricity consumption has been able to be reduced by 600,000 kWh. Following this successful ”pilot test” in Duisburg, the plan is now to have introduced this energy management system throughout the whole of the company by the end of 2015. By doing so, the TSR branches can create an energy consumption benchmark to identify the most energy efficient processes and then transfer these, where needed, to other branches. To sum up: TSR is protecting the environment more than ever before and cutting its costs by planning ahead and acting proactively.

  • By increasing its energy efficiency, TSR is becoming more sustainable and cutting its costs

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