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Many people underestimate what can actually be achieved with recycling. What’s more, we often don’t know the specifics – for example which substances the recycling industry can recover and what can actually be done with them. Taking a look behind the scenes can help them to find out more.
With 14 different plants and facilities spread over more than 230 hectares, the Lippe Plant in the Westphalian town of Lünen has created its very own ‘world of recycling’. Thanks to its links to a wide range of industries and sectors, REMONDIS is able to transform waste from various areas of production into recycled raw materials and products at this site – the largest industrial recycling centre in Europe. Even more unusual types of waste, such as gypsum from flue gas desulphurisation plants at coal-fired power stations or alkalis from catalyst producers, are able to be processed and returned to production cycles. The Lippe Plant has also been honoured by KlimaExpo, an initiative set up by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which has praised the work being carried out at the site – both in its three main areas of recycling and its contribution to combating climate change as it cuts carbon emissions by 488,000t every single year.
"REMONDIS is permanently investing in new technology. This is our contribution to the future."
Ludger Rethmann, executive chairman
On the one hand, REMONDIS makes the most of industrial waste to create primary products for industrial businesses: waste plastic is processed into pellets, slag into metal. Furthermore, sodium aluminate is recovered so it can be used for treating wastewater or to make binding agents and white minerals. Other facilities recover high-energy fats from high-risk animal by-products and then turn these into carbon-neutral biodiesel. Not only industrial businesses benefit from the wide variety of recycling activities at the Lippe Plant but the agricultural sector as well: organic and green waste is used to produce high quality composts which can be ordered straight from the recycler. Non-recyclable waste is used as an alternative fuel to generate energy. Carbon-neutral electricity is, for example, produced at the Lippe Plant’s own biomass-fired power station, a collaboration with STEAG.