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Mercury can still be found in many products – particularly outside Germany – and emerging countries are now increasingly taking the disposal of this hazardous liquid heavy metal more seriously. As is the case in Guatemala. Working together with its Guatemalan partner REPELSA, REMONDIS has successfully completed its first project to export mercury-containing waste from this Central American country in collaboration with Blackforest Solutions.
The whole project lasted almost two years – from setting up the partnership, to receiving the required notifications, all the way through to exporting the materials to Germany and disposing of them properly at REMONDIS QR’s branch in Dorsten. As a result, activated charcoal and other types of mercury-containing waste from a mine in Guatemala owned by a Canadian mining company were safely disposed of in line with the Minamata Convention.
Martin Pakulat, Commercial Manager at REMONDIS QR
The objective of the Minamata Agreement, which has been in force since 2013, is to protect human health and the environment from this extremely toxic substance as well as to curb mercury emissions and contamination. Its medium-term goal is to permanently eliminate mercury from economic cycles all together. “Thanks to our project, we have moved a step closer to this goal. We are reliant on REPELSA in this partnership – the company knows the local market and has important business relationships with the customers,” explained Martin Pakulat, a commercial manager at REMONDIS QR and the person in charge of this project. By the same token, REPELSA needs a German partner to emphasise its credibility in its own country and the region as a whole so that it is awarded contracts.
The project, of course, not only benefits the companies but also human health, ecosystems and the fauna and flora. International projects such as this one show emerging nations around the globe that even though they might not have sufficient treatment plants in their own country, it is still possible for them to have their mercury disposed of safely.
Exporting mercury for disposal? This is how it’s done