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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

From city cleaning work to producing climate-friendly energy

  • FES Frankfurter Entsorgungs- und Service GmbH (FES) is the leading provider of waste management and cleaning services in the Rhine-Main region. Working together with its six subsidiaries and associated companies, it offers a strong portfolio of services that range from city cleaning work, to waste management, all the way through to running its own plants to produce climate-friendly electricity and heat.

Helping to keep the city clean

A financial centre, a banking centre, an important venue for trade fairs: more than 700,000 people live in Frankfurt and around 4.8 million tourists and business people visit the city every year. Both the local residents and the visitors expect the city to offer them a high quality of life. One of the most important tasks that FES Frankfurter Entsorgungs- und Service GmbH must perform, therefore, it to ensure the city remains clean and tidy.

Each and every day, FES is out and about cleaning the city’s roads, paths and squares (a total 6 million square metres) and emptying around 6,000 litter bins. The company’s daily workload is impressive – but this is just a small part of its portfolio. This PPP company offers local residents and retailers as well as commercial and industrial businesses a whole range of other waste management and cleaning services.

    • people live in Frankfurt

    • tourists & business people visit the city every year

Committed to the city and the region

  • One of its great strengths is its commitment to conserving natural resources and cutting carbon emissions. FES operates a number of recycling and treatment facilities – including a state-of-the-art organic waste processing plant that uses biogas to generate electricity which is then fed into the grid. Its waste-to-energy plant produces electricity and heat for at least 45,000 households. Furthermore, FES runs facilities for processing IBA and sorting old paper and commercial waste.

    FES has been serving other local authorities in the region as well as Frankfurt for many years now.

Following a successful path for 20 years now

  • Following a successful path for 20 years now FES was established in 1995 when the City’s waste management and city cleaning department was transformed into an independent company. It actually began operating in 1996. In 1998, it then changed its status from being a purely municipal business to being a public private partnership between the City of Frankfurt and REMONDIS.

    The objective here was to create synergies between the public and private sector shareholders in order to strengthen the company and prepare it for the future – an objective that has most certainly been fulfilled. Its strategy to offer new services and to enter into new fields of business and found subsidiaries that complement its core services has proven to be particularly successful.

  • FES also runs its own modern fleet of special vehicles to enable it to carry out its various tasks around the city

FES has steadily become more and more successful as it has gradually expanded its fields of business and areas of expertise.

A positive picture wherever you look

Indeed, the company’s success has steadily grown as it has gradually extended and improved its portfolio: FES’ turnover has increased by 80 percent over the years. Moreover, its profits have risen year on year despite the company investing a total of approx. 200 million euros in its business. The workforce has also expanded, with FES now employing over 1,700 people. It has become an attractive employer thanks to its targeted personnel development schemes, its flexible working hours and its exemplary initiatives – for example on demographic management and work life balance – that are acting as a role model across the whole of the country.

    • small wheelie bins (recyclables & waste)

    • bulky waste collection trips every year

    • large wheelie bins (2.5m3 to 5m3)

    • skips (1.7m3 to 36m3)

An important feature: sustainable progress

  • One of FES’ top priorities is to try and predict what local residents, customers and local authorities will want to have in the future and to adjust its portfolio accordingly. Developing innovative solutions to ensure the business continues to move in the right direction is also on its list of priorities as is increasing its efforts to conserve resources and prevent climate change. The focus of its attention: the Rhine-Main region. At the end of the day, there is a very good reason for FES’ slogan: “Making things happen in the Rhine-Main region”.

    > Facts & Figures

    A PPP since



    51% City of Frankfurt am Main
    49% REMONDIS

    No. of employees


    No. of vehicles

    around 800 


    23 in the Rhine-Main region
    (incl. subsidiaries)

    Plants & facilities


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