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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.
    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann 

Preparing for future tasks

  • Plans have been made for the Lauchhammer sewage treatment plant, located in the south of the German state of Brandenburg, to be modernised this year – with operations carrying on as normal. REMONDIS’ subsidiary WAL-Betrieb is to be in charge of this future-oriented project. Since 2006, the company has been responsible for managing both the technical and commercial side of all facilities owned by Wasserverband Lausitz (WAL), one of the largest water associations in Brandenburg.

The current plant is reaching full capacity

  • Working on behalf of 25 local authorities and more than 80,000 local inhabitants, Wasserverband Lausitz (WAL) is responsible for supplying drinking water and treating wastewater in the region. Over the years, the association has enjoyed many successes: water rates paid by the local residents, for example, have remained stable since the year 2000 and the number of households connected to the public sewer system is steadily growing (currently approx. 84%). However, as the number of properties connected to the system has increased, so too, have waste loads and the amounts of wastewater that need to be treated by the Lauchhammer sewage treatment plant. Commissioned in 1994, the plant accepts wastewater from the city of Lauchhammer and the surrounding districts and is gradually reaching full capacity.

     

WAL and WAL-Betrieb: with both companies continuing to grow, they provide an excellent example of just how successful cooperation work can be between the public and private sectors.

Comprehensive high-standard renovation work

With this in mind, Wasserverband Lausitz has decided to invest in a comprehensive project to modernise the sewage treatment plant – assisted by WAL-Betrieb. WAL-Betrieb has itself been awarded certificates for its quality and environmental management and energy management systems (in acc. with DIN EN ISO 50001) and one of its main priorities is to provide its public sector clients with efficient and costeffective solutions. One way to guarantee that the quality of the water in the region’s lakes and rivers remains at the right level is to ensure that operations at the plant run reliably – and that they continue to do so well into the future. The plant’s good discharge values are, therefore, to be maintained at the same reliable level or even improved.  

The renovation work at Lauchhammer is focusing primarily on the facility’s biological treatment stage. At the end of 2013, the plant was extended to include a further activated sludge tank with new hydraulic technology. The technology of the other tanks is to be modernised this year. Besides the biological treatment phase, both the automation technology and the process control system at the plant are to be adjusted to meet the latest technology standards.

  • Ecology and economics hand in hand

    • ”We are committed to offering integral solutions and futureoriented concepts and priority is always put on customer satisfaction,” explained Karin Rusch, managing director of WAL-Betrieb. It is precisely for this reason that the company looked for a solution that offered not one but a variety of benefits. Together with the control system’s modern control algorithms, the new and highly sensitive measuring technology will lead to an efficient and sustainable use of energy. This will help to both conserve valuable resources as well as keep costs down. Operations will be run as normal whilst the modernisation measures are being carried out. This will make the project particularly challenging for both WAL-Betrieb and the contractors and so each stage has been prepared meticulously.

    • The biological treatment stage makes up around 50 to 70 percent of all energy consumed at the plant. WAL-Betrieb is, therefore, looking to make this area particularly energy efficient

     At the end of the day, WAL-Betrieb always follows its tried and tested strategy: providing optimum efficiency, the best possible service and the highest levels of quality.

  • Christoph Maschek, managing director of WAL-Betrieb said:

    ”No matter where we’re working, we always look to use both material and energy resources as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.”

REMONDIS and EURAWASSER are the main sponsors for the "Brandenburg Day 2014"

It’s soon to be that time of year again: the ”Brandenburg Day” is being held in the state of Brandenburg on 05 and 06 July 2014. The city hosting this year’s festival, which is held every two years, is Spremberg, the ”Pearl of the Lausitz”. REMONDIS and EURAWASSER will be supporting this major event as one of the main sponsors. ”Brandenburg is very important to us with many of our company’s activities focusing on this region,” explained Marten Eger, regional manager at REMONDIS Aqua responsible for Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Thu?ringen. A joint stand is to be set up at the event where REMONDIS, EURAWASSER, Lausitzer Wassergesellschaft (LWG) and WAL-Betrieb will all be presenting their extensive service portfolios.

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