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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

Unveiling at the didacta exhibition

  • At the beginning of the year, the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS added new teaching material for Years 7 to 11 to their programme in preparation for this year’s didacta exhibition, which took place in Cologne between 16 and 20 February. This material includes 19 different teaching units on the subject of recycling and are suitable for all types of secondary school. The new units and all additional material can be downloaded free of charge from the internet by going to wertstoffprofis.de.

Helping to teach about the environment

With its RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS, REMONDIS – a family-­run recycling, service and water company from Lünen dedicated to conserving resources and curbing global warming – has created and implemented its very own educational initiative to help schools and kindergartens teach their children about the environment.

The RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS are helping schools to shine the spotlight on environmental awareness.

The teachers, for example, can access an extensive range of free teaching materials about subjects such as waste, resource conservation and recycling for kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools up to Year 11. This cleverly constructed material – including group posters and workbooks for complete classes – is available online and is free of charge.

  • “In times when educational systems find themselves strapped for funds, professional private educational initiatives, such as the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS, can help schools to teach their children valuable practical knowledge.”

    Johanna Spinn, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, REMONDIS


‘Moving from a throwaway society to a recycling society’ – the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS educational project has played a significant role in bringing about this transformation and this fact has been recognised by KlimaExpo.NRW. In February, it officially named the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS as an “engine for progress”, adding them to its list of qualified projects in the area of “resource conservation”. “There are huge volumes of waste which could still be recycled. Making the most of such waste not only helps to cut carbon emissions. It could also be used to produce enormous volumes of recycled materials. If this potential is to be used, then private households need to separate their waste better. Which is why our educational programme aims to teach children at an early age how they can protect the environment,” explained Johanna Spinn, project manager and head of corporate communications at REMONDIS.

In 2016, the Federal Council for Sustainable Development presented the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS with an award, recognising its role as an important educational project.

In addition to this, the Federal government's Council for Sustainable Development [Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung] recently named the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS as the “first holistic, nationwide educational project for recycling and resource conservation” and awarded it the quality label “Werkstatt N Projekt 2016” [Workshop N Project 2016]. Marleen Thieme, Chairwoman of the Council, concluded: “All of the award-winning initiatives are acting as important role models demonstrating how sustainability can be practised in the heart of our communities. They show in highly creative and innovative ways how people can act responsibly – together, in the business world and towards our environment.”

  • Prof. Günther Bachmann, General Secretary of the German Council for Sustainable Development (left) and NRW Environmental Minister Johannes Remmel (far right) presenting the ”Werkstatt N” quality label to Pia Rohlmann, REMONDIS Marketing, and Yves Rene Wieloch, an apprentice at REMONDIS, during the didacta in Cologne

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