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  • Dear Readers!

    Public private partnerships create a win-win situation. There is no better way to sustainably safeguard jobs, create new jobs or use efficient innovations for public services and so help keep local fees and charges stable. And yet one might occasionally get the impression here in Germany that there is currently a kind of trench warfare going on between the public and private sectors. People are talking about the current trend of some local authorities to renationalise services. Something that is threatening to eliminate fair competition. There are a number of impartial studies around that have looked in detail at the pros and cons of nationalisation. The international economics research institute, e.ca economics, for example, discovered that this trend towards nationalisation is one that is catching. On the one hand, districts that have renationalised services in the past are more likely to do so again in the future. Consequently, this effect is seen more often in districts where a large percentage of the services are already being delivered by municipal businesses. On the other hand, there is also a noticeable trend towards local authorities trying to drive private sector competition out of their market, in particular in districts with a low population density.

    Having worked together with local authorities for many years, REMONDIS is, of course, critical of these trends. Each and every day, REMONDIS shows that things are so much better when the public and private sectors work together. Being a partner in 50 PPP companies and delivering services via numerous third party contracts, we have perfected the concept of public private partnerships for all those involved – both when it comes to public services and water management. All in all, REMONDIS and its public sector partners serve over 12 million people. The local authorities and their residents are provided with high quality services at a fair price. At the end of the day, they are the ones who finance the public services via the fees and charges they must pay. At the same time, the municipal partners must keep a close eye on their budgets and economise where necessary. Having a reliable source of income from taxes can also help here. It is well worth taking a look at the way the different tasks are allocated in Germany.

    Around 35% of waste management services are provided by the local authorities themselves via their own municipal companies, which means no VAT is charged on these services. More than one third of the people living in Germany, therefore, do not pay VAT on these public services; and yet at the same time they benefit from the payments made by other local inhabitants as a result of funds being allocated between districts. The local authorities themselves lose out as they receive less tax. An unfair tax situation that ends up hurting everyone. Councils are deliberately choosing not to open up their markets even though this would enable them to cut costs. They are effectively holding back the private sector economy rather than making the most of the opportunity available to them to improve their situation and work together with the private sector to take the pressure off the public purse, increase their workforce, stabilise fees and charges and ensure they have a steady and reliable source of income.

    Both we and our long-standing municipal partners agree that the best solution is to work together as partners. This special edition of our company magazine focuses entirely on the subject of public private partnerships and aims to provide a more detailed picture of the various PPP business models, the advantages they bring for local authorities and their residents as well as the positive impact they have on jobs, on the local economies and on the environment. And, as self-praise is no praise, we are more than happy to give our partners the opportunity to speak about their PPPs here. Local authorities, which would like to have a stable and sustainable budget, to provide their residents with high quality services and to achieve the highest possible levels of sustainability in their waste management and recycling sector, will find some valuable suggestions and experiences here to help them in their decision-making process. Here’s to future collaborations!



    Thomas Conzendorf

A shareholder since 2007

  • Schwerin-based SAS has been operating in the municipal city cleaning and waste management sectors for more than 60 years now. REMONDIS has owned a share in the company since 2007. The foundation of a PPP has proven to be beneficial for all those involved: new plants and technology have improved its carbon footprint and the company’s turnover has grown by 38%.

REMONDIS – the winner of the tender

  • Environmentally friendly waste management and a clean and tidy city – this is what Schweriner Abfallentsorgungs- und Straßenreinigungsgesellschaft mbH (SAS) is all about. The success that the company has enjoyed since it became a PPP is clear proof that tradition can go hand in hand with progress. On 01 January 2007, REMONDIS acquired a 49% share in SAS. Prior to this, the city authorities of Schwerin had put out a Europe-wide tender to find a strategically strong and experienced private sector partner. Lünen-based REMONDIS beat the many applicants to win the contract.

    SAS meets all the criteria and requirements set out by the ‘EdDE’ (association of waste management businesses) and has been issued with an ‘EfB’ certificate.

    Lord Mayor of Schwerin Angelika Gramkow commented: “For many years now, this partnership with REMONDIS has ensured that the range of services has continuously improved – benefiting all those living and working in Schwerin – and that SAS has developed and grown its business.”

    • people live in the catchment area

    • kWh/a of climate-friendly electricity is generated by the new organic waste treatment facility

    • households receive this electricity, which is sufficient to cover their requirements for 12 months

Customer-oriented environmental services

The city authorities of Schwerin (the capital of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) wished to create a partnership that would make sure SAS had the best possible set up for the future without them losing their influence over the business. The best solution proved to be a collaboration with a private sector service provider. Thanks to the extensive technological know-how that REMONDIS has contributed to the PPP, SAS has become a modern, customer-oriented business offering comprehensive waste management and recycling solutions for commercial, retail and industrial companies as well as for the local inhabitants. The main services provided by SAS include recycling household and bulky waste, cleaning streets, open spaces and markets, clearing the streets of snow and ice in winter as well as collecting a whole range of recyclables.

  • “The first kilowatt hour of electricity was a really important milestone for us. We see SAS as being a traditional as well as an innovative company and we want it to be able to offer Schwerin’s commercial and industrial businesses and its local residents the best possible solutions.“

    Matthias Hartung, Managing Director of SAS

A sustainable & cost-effective business

Its figures are impressive: SAS’ turnover grew by 38% between 2007 and 2015 – and its profits by around 50% during the same period. Moreover, 20 new jobs have been created. This success and the growth in the company’s value can be put down to the way in-house processes have been improved and adapted to create an efficient recycling business. This has increased the company’s earnings – something that benefits the local residents as this extra money can be used for other public services as well as for new investments.

  • In 2015, SAS collected 42,700 Mg/a of municipal waste and 16,000 Mg/a of commercial waste

  • Climate-friendly electricity

    A new handling and storage hall was built on SAS’ grounds in 2013 and a state-of-the-art organic waste treatment facility (located in an industrial park) was commissioned in January 2015. This facility uses organic waste to produce carbon-neutral energy, which SAS feeds into the grid. A great contribution, therefore, to helping Schwerin reach its goal of becoming a carbon-neutral city. The company has also made sure that there is a steady supply of input material: local residents were provided with organic waste bins for their kitchen and garden waste at the same time the treatment plant began operations.

    The bins have a chip and an identification number to enable the company to monitor their locations as well as to improve their vehicle collection routes. A smart innovation using cutting-edge technology that will help even more material life cycles to be closed. And this success story is far from over: the contract between the City of Schwerin and SAS was concluded for a period of 20 years and runs until 2027.

    > Facts & Figures

    Type of partnership

    a cooperation model

    A PPP since



    51% City of Schwerin
    49% REMONDIS

    No. of employees

    around 80 


    collecting recyclables, managing & recycling waste, cleaning municipal roads & spaces

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