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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!

    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann

Europe must import phosphorus

  • Phosphorus is an important raw material. This chemical element is unable to be produced synthetically and practically all of the phosphorus used in Europe has to be imported. REMONDIS has developed some pioneering processes to supply agricultural and industrial businesses with this substance – processes that are already being used and proving to be highly successful.

Efforts to be stepped up to recover & recycle phosphorus

The German government has decided that sewage sludge should no longer be spread on fields as a fertiliser and that the phosphorus and other nutrients should be recovered from the sludge instead. This decision to stop sewage sludge being used as a fertiliser is controversial. Everyone, however, agrees that efforts to recover and recycle phosphorus must be increased. This is underlined by the findings of a study published recently by the trend:research institute on the future of sewage sludge recycling. According to the study, the research and development work carried out in the area of phosphorus recycling will play a decisive role in how this market will develop in the future.

  • Around 2 million tonnes of dewatered sewage sludge is generated in Germany every year which contains approx. 60,000 tonnes of phosphorus

Huge potential for recycling

  • Around 2 million tonnes of dewatered sewage sludge is generated in Germany every year which contains approx. 60,000 tonnes of phosphorus. A significant amount, therefore, which could be recovered and recycled – especially as natural reserves around the world are gradually being depleted and the quality of these reserves is deteriorating rapidly. REMONDIS has been looking into this subject for many years now and has developed a number of processes that are creating the groundwork and setting standards for recovering phosphorus. Its intention here is to enable the phosphorus to be used as a fertiliser as well as for it to be supplied to industrial businesses as valuable phosphates.

    Thanks to the TetraPhos® process, today’s sewage treatment plants will be supplying tomorrow’s raw materials

A patented & highly cost-effective solution

The company’s TetraPhos® process demonstrates REMONDIS’ approach to this issue perfectly. Thanks to its patented system, high quality phosphoric acid can be produced from sewage sludge ash. This acid can be used to create phosphate compounds that, in turn, can be used to make fertiliser or animal feed or sent on to the chemicals and metal industry for manufacturing a whole range of different products. Besides the phosphoric acid, the TetraPhos® system also generates gypsum for the building supplies trade and iron and aluminium salts for treating wastewater. A further advantage: TetraPhos® can be operated on an industrial scale making it particularly cost effective.

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