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  • Dear Readers!

    Even after just a few months, 2019 is already panning out to be a year full of uncertainty. We are all having to face a variety of challenges. With many of these linked to climate change and the environment, they are automatically affecting the environmental services sector as well. The impact of climate change could be felt all around the world last year with countries being struck by floods, forest fires and drought – and experts are expecting more of the same this year. Both industrial and political decision-makers and consumers across the globe are well aware that urgent measures need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – something that has been further highlighted by the young Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, who has inspired schoolchildren to take to the streets on Fridays to get adults to finally tackle this problem. This will be a mammoth task as it involves nothing less than halting the loss of biodiversity and ensuring there are sufficient supplies of natural resources for future generations. And this is precisely what REMONDIS does by recovering high quality raw materials from waste. Indeed, there is no other individual measure that is so successful at cutting greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. And this is why we see it as our task to extend the reach of our services and pass on our know-how to others – especially to other countries – to promote resource-friendly recycling activities.

    Our industry is currently undergoing a technological change that will alter the way many things are done. As the world becomes ever more digital, it is inevitable that this technology will have an impact on our everyday lives as well as on the way we do business. The spread of digitisation, however, is creating its own new set of challenges. The political environment in many regions around the world is also changing which could hamper our cross-border efforts to promote sustainable development. This, of course, also includes the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the growing tensions between the so-called superpowers. We need the support of our politicians so that we can make the world that little bit more sustainable – whether it be the implementation of a Europe-wide landfill ban or the creation of an Ecodesign Directive that takes raw material efficiency into account as well as energy efficiency. All in all, the upcoming European Elections will be an important political milestone for Europe.

    REMONDIS is doing its utmost to turn these challenges into opportunities and to navigate through these stormy seas safely. We are marking out the way for sustainable success by investing in technology and growing our portfolio.

    You can find out more about our plans for the future by taking a look through this latest issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL – and discover how our customers can benefit from our strong and stable services in these volatile times. 

    Yours

    Egbert Tölle

Members of the team for several months now

“They are my secret weapon,” reveals Dennis Koole. He is REMONDIS’ project leader at the former Opel factory in Bochum and is proud to have these two sorters on his team. A few months back, though, he had been unsure whether to take them on or not as both Marko Idzanovic (51) and Burhan Yorulmaz (28) are deaf. Dennis Koole, however, decided to give them this opportunity.

Deaf but still fully integrated

Both Marko and Burhan’s body language makes it very clear just how grateful they are. In fact, Marko would like to stay and work at the plant until he retires – there is nothing else he would rather do. It was love that brought him to Germany last year; he had previously worked as a construction site assistant in Croatia. Burhan’s dream is to become a pilot but this will certainly be very difficult. He is not even allowed to use his fork-lift truck licence at the plant in Bochum. It is simply too much of a risk. He himself believes that it is not a problem for him to drive a fork-lift truck but the company is not so sure. Marko and Burhan are both keen supporters of digitisation as any form of technology that automatically transforms the spoken word into the written word or that can provide visual driver assistance will help bring ‘normality’ into their lives. And this is also the reason why they always have their mobile on them as they communicate with their colleagues via the phone’s screen. They use their own language, of course, when they talk to one another.

  • “No-one else works as hard or as fast as they do.”

    Paul Gessner, Team & Shift Leader

Well-functioning channels of communication

Marko could only communicate using Croatian sign language before he came to Germany but it only took him a few weeks to learn the German equivalent. Sign language differs from country to country. The sign for waste – a gesture showing something being thrown away – is similar in many countries. As there is not a specific sign for recycling, the two use the sign that means making something new from something old. Which describes their work perfectly. Every month, they sort 42 tonnes of cardboard, 20 tonnes of wood, 4 tonnes of plastic film, 12 tonnes of scrap metal as well as aluminium and cables so that they can be recycled and reused to make new products – helping to conserve our planet’s natural resources and protect the environment. The more the better, as far as they are concerned. Indeed, the sight of any unsorted materials – no matter how small the amount – makes them nervous. They hate seeing their workplace untidy.

An asset to the team

“No-one else works as hard or as fast as they do,” commented Paul Gessner, their team and shift leader. All of their colleagues have learned the most important signs to make them feel at home in their team. Marko and Burhan have proven to be a great asset. “Their hard work, their self-irony, their mindfulness and, above all, their ability to see and note exactly what’s going on around them – these are things we can all learn from. They are a role model for us all and I’m going to do everything possible to make sure they never want to leave,” Paul Gessner concluded.

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