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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

A showcase project for Asia

  • REMEX’s recycling facility in Singapore officially began its operations last December when guests were invited to attend an official opening ceremony and join in on a tour around the plant. This state-of-the-art facility is not only setting an example of how this nation, with its strong and highly developed economy, is promoting sustainability. It is also being seen as a showcase project the whole of Asia. Guest of honour at the event was Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

On its way to becoming a zero waste nation

Talking to the assembled group of guests and journalists, the minister explained just how important the issue of waste reduction was for both his government and Singapore. This new facility was, he said, a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to become a zero waste nation. Looking at the growing importance of recycling waste to recover valuable resources, he added: “REMEX is an established player in Europe for metal recovery from IBA. I am confident that their experience in such operations will help ensure the success of this facility in the years ahead.”

  • “The birth of this first-of-its-kind facility in Singapore is a fine example of how we harness technology to implement innovative solutions in waste management.”

    Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources

Click on play to view a video about REMEX’s new facility in Singapore

Recovering ferrous & non-ferrous metals

  • The new recycling facility being run by REMONDIS’ subsidiary was built to process the incinerator bottom ash (IBA) from Singapore’s four household waste incineration plants and to recover any metals contained in the ash. A good 90 percent of the ferrous metals and over three quarters of the valuable non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium and copper, will be able to be recovered and recycled – even the really small pieces like paper clips and bottle caps.

    • REMEX’s new recycling plant in Singapore can recover up to 90% of all metals from the IBA

Recycled building materials as found in Europe

  • However, the recovery of the metal is not the only important feature of this facility for Singapore, which is so densely populated and has so few raw materials of its own. According to the plans of the country’s National Environment Agency (NEA), the largest material stream from this plant – the processed IBA – should also be put to good use. The NEA is aiming to recycle it so it can be used as a building material, as is already being done in Europe. If processed correctly, the IBA can be turned into building supplies or recycled aggregate for road and earthworks projects. Something that not only helps conserve our planet’s reserves of primary materials, such as sand and gravel, but also provides an alternative to sending it to landfill. During the opening ceremony, Environment Minister Masagos Zulkifli and Norbert Rethmann presented a building block made from processed IBA to show those attending the event just how much potential there is for recycling this material.

    The official opening of REMEX’s recycling facility in Singapore (from left to right): Environment Minister Masagos Zulkifli, Norbert Rethmann, honorary chairman of the supervisory board of the RETHMANN Group, and Venkat Patnaik, managing director of REMEX Minerals Singapore Pte. Ltd.

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