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  • Dear Readers!

    The refugee crisis, caused by the war in Syria, has awakened Europe from a deep slumber. Individual member states are outdoing each other – introducing one uncoordinated measure after another as they attempt to stem the seemingly never-ending flow of people desperately seeking help. Whilst Chancellor Merkel is hoping to bring about a European solution, others are closing their borders and seriously thinking about exiting the European Union. No matter where you look, people are saying the party is over. It is time now for facts rather than emotions to be brought to the table. Germany has around 81 million inhabitants and its economy has never been so good. Approximately one million refugees had entered the country when the state elections were held in Baden-Württemberg, Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Pfalz on 13 March. To use the same metaphor: if 81 people are invited to a party and they are joined by one international guest, then the party is by no means over. On the contrary, there is a great opportunity here for the new guest’s culture, experience and vitality to enhance the event and make it even more interesting. 

    As Germany’s population continues to fall, demographers are assuming that the country will need around 500,000 new immigrants every year simply to keep its social security system functioning. In the future, therefore, we may find ourselves being grateful each time a migrant decides to stay and do an apprenticeship in our country. What is needed is genuine integration. The Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rainer Schmeltzer, recently published a brochure in four languages so that refugees could find out how the public transport system works in the district of Unna. Whilst talking to one of REMONDIS’ board members, he called on the recycling sector to do something similar. The majority of the migrants have little or no experience of using different coloured bins to separate waste. REMONDIS has stepped up to the mark and published a flyer in German, English, French, Farsi and Arabic. We would also be very pleased to receive applications from registered refugees wishing to do an apprenticeship at our company, for example to become a professional truck driver. 

    If the state of North Rhine-Westphalia were to be a country in its own right, then it would be among the top 10 European nations when it comes to population figures and economic power. The latest waste management report shows that our industry has become one of the biggest drivers of growth. Whilst traditional industries, such as coal, steel and energy, continue to decline, an ever increasing number of people are working in recycling, industrial and municipal services and water management. REMONDIS is both a driving force and the backbone of this really pleasing development. And what makes REMONDIS what it is, is its 32,000 employees who work for their local inhabitants and their municipal and industrial customers in 33 countries every single day. Looking at all this, it is a shame that politicians would appear to be paying so little attention to the IFAT exhibition which is being held in Munich from 30 May to 03 June. REMONDIS is going to be there even if the Federal Minister of the Environment is not. We look forward to seeing you there!


    Ludger Rethmann

Centre opened at the beginning of the year

The Śląskiego Centrum Recyklingu’ recycling centre in the Polish town of Gliwice began operations at the beginning of the year. Being a public private partnership (PPP) project, it is making an important contribution towards optimising the recycling sector. It will, for example, ensure that the region fulfils the latest legal regulations and that it takes a big step forward towards reaching its recycling targets.

The goal: greater recycling rates

Using EU directives as a basis, Poland is currently working on ensuring that its commercial waste is handled in a more environmentally sound manner and that it achieves higher recycling rates. If it is to succeed here, then it is vital that a suitable infrastructure is set up – a task that requires both know-how and capital. Many local authorities have, therefore, opted to collaborate with REMONDIS. As have the city authorities in Gliwice in the Silesian Voivodeship. They have been running a PPP company with REMONDIS for many years now. This central recycling centre is yet another PPP project in which the municipal landfill business owns a 49% share and the company a 51% share.

  • “Thanks to the state-of-the-art technology at our centre, we are able to efficiently recover the recyclable contents and reduce the amount of material that has to be taken to landfill – especially the biodegradable fractions.”

    Dr Dariusz Szyszka, Project Manager at Gliwice Recycling Centre

Facilities to sort & recover materials

  • Covering an area of 2.5 hectares, the recycling centre is able to treat municipal waste using mechanical and biological processes as well as to recover recyclable materials and separate them into different fractions. Moreover, the site also operates a composting plant. Managing director Dr Dariusz Szyszka commented: “Thanks to the state-of-the-art technology at our centre, we are able to efficiently recover the recyclable contents and reduce the amount of material that has to be taken to landfill – especially the biodegradable fractions.” The technology installed at the recycling centre will help the region to meet the more stringent legal regulations and is also setting the course for the future. One of Poland’s goals for 2020 is for at least 50% of all waste paper, glass, metal and plastic to be recovered and recycled.

    REMONDIS is helping to set up a network of efficient plants and facilities in Poland. Three pilot projects involving recycling facilities have begun operations over the last twelve months alone – in Opole, Tarnowskie Góry and Gliwice.

    Poland’s National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management provided financial support for the construction of the recycling centre as it, too, recognised just how important this project was for the region. Moreover, the centre has been officially certified as a RIPOK regional plant. Recycling facilities that have been given this status are particularly efficient and meet high environmental standards. From summer 2018 onwards, plants will only be allowed to operate in Poland if they have been granted RIPOK status.

    High profile guests at the opening of the recycling centre in Gliwice: (from left to right): Egbert Tölle, REMONDIS Board Member, Heinrich Zölzer, former supervisory board member of the RETHMANN Group, Karina Sternol, Assistant to the CEO REMONDIS Gliwice, Norbert Rethmann, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the RETHMANN Group, Klaudiusz Siwiec, Chairman of the Silesian Chamber of Commerce, Piotr Lubos, CEO of REMONDIS Gliwice

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