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  • Dear Readers!

    This editorial was written and ready for print and focused primarily on the EU’s Green Deal. And then coronavirus spread around the world and the text had to be revised. Despite the current situation, though, the Green Deal remains one of the most important projects for the European circular economy. And many other things have happened as well – the question surrounding DSD, for example.

    It is now official. On 22 April 2020, the first Cartel Panel of the Higher Regional Court [Oberlandesgericht] of Düsseldorf dismissed our appeal against the Cartel Office’s decision. Their ruling surprised us as we were sure that we had the better arguments in favour of us acquiring Duales System Deutschland GmbH. But we live under the rule of law and we will, of course, accept their decision. What we need to do now is to take the time required to take a detailed look at the Panel’s reasons for dismissing our appeal and then carefully decide what our next steps should be. In light of the fact that all other major competitors operate in this market, it will be interesting to see to what extent REMONDIS will get involved in the Dual System in the future.

    It is not so easy to look ahead at the moment, though, faced with the current coronavirus emergency. When the first media reports came through on 29 December last year that China had informed the WHO that it had an unexplained cluster of people suffering from an unidentified lung disease, no one realised just how hard or how fast this virus would affect the globalised economy. It is practically impossible to estimate the costs incurred by the economy grounding to a halt as a result of the virus. And it is not just the private sector that has felt the impact. Many city and district authorities were already in financial difficulties before the crisis began. Their situation can only get worse, now that their revenue from local business tax and their takings from their local amenities have plummeted. Maybe it is time to set aside old arguments and enter into long-term partnerships with the private sector that will benefit both parties – especially when it comes to delivering essential public services. Setting up public private joint ventures dedicated to providing essential services could help mitigate the consequences of the crisis. At the end of the day, ‘a load shared is a load halved’. One positive coming from these unprecedented times is the increased sense of solidarity among the population and towards many sections of the economy. REMONDIS, too, is there to help and support its municipal partners – during this crisis more than ever.

    Past pandemics have rarely lasted longer than two years. At some stage – whether with or without a vaccine – public life and business will return to normal. This will be the moment when it will become clear to all that our planet’s biggest problem – climate change – has not solved itself. Once again, the spotlight will be turned on the European Union’s Green Deal. Looking at a list published from within the EU, there is a danger of important regulations being watered down, especially in the area of the circular economy. In contrast, the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina, expressly advises against neglecting climate action and environmental protection following the Covid-19 crisis in its ad-hoc statement published on 14 April 2020. In fact, it recommends the exact opposite. The economy must be kick-started so that it can grow again and should, it says, be “guided more firmly than before by considerations of sustainability, not least because this offers vast potential for economic growth.” Climate change is and will continue to be the biggest challenge for the future and REMONDIS, being one of the leading water and recycling businesses, will continue to put forward its solutions and play an important role.

    With this in mind: stay safe and stay positive.

    Thomas Conzendorf

Recovering non-ferrous metal concentrate

  • The foundation stone for transforming the way the smallest particles found in shredder heavy fractions are processed has been laid: in the second quarter of 2020, TSR’s business in Brandenburg an der Havel will begin recovering valuable non-ferrous metal concentrate from the material streams generated by large-scale shredder facilities. Up to now, this work has been performed by external companies.

A state-of-the-art facility

TSR’s subsidiary REMINE is currently preparing the area and installing state-of-the-art technology to enable it to implement its innovative processing system – in an old steelworks building just 500 metres from TSR’s Brandenburg branch. From the spring of 2020 onwards, this plant will be used to process fine material from TSR’s three large-scale shredder facilities (in Brandenburg, Mannheim and Hamburg) as well as from INDRA Recycling GmbH, a REMONDIS Group company, and from other partner firms. “We are creating our very own central solution for shredder heavy fraction material streams in Germany,” commented REMINE managing director, Florian Berger. His fellow managing director, Dr Sebastian Jeanvré, added: “At the moment, about one-third of the building is being rented out to Recyclingpark Brandenburg GmbH – a company partly owned by the REMONDIS Group. This provides us with a flexible set-up and means we can expand REMINE’s capacity if the volume of incoming material increases.”

Separating materials – strengthening partnerships

    • The technological centrepiece of the section of the building dedicated to this system (currently approx. 7,500m²) will be the new facility for processing fines, i.e. finely grained, metal-containing fractions. The finely grained shredder heavy fraction will undergo a dry mechanic, fully automated process: once the composites have been uncovered and the metals shaped into balls, the raw materials will pass through a number of different systems to separate the material stream into its individual components: minerals, plastics and non-ferrous concentrates. The results are clean aluminium, copper and brass concentrate which can be sent straight to foundries.

    TSR’s first screening facility for shredder heavy fraction will be up and running in the second quarter of 2020.

    Dr Ansgar Fendel, managing director of REMONDIS Assets & Services GmbH & Co. KG, and his team provided technological support – especially when it came to designing the new plant. “Both their knowledge and experience were a huge help. Dr Georg Timmel, project manager for processing facilities, and Viola Möbs, project engineer, both played a key role in further optimising our technology,” agreed Jeanvré and Berger, praising the collaboration work.

A safe investment

REMINE was founded as a fully owned TSR subsidiary back in the spring of 2014. Construction work on the plant in Brandenburg then began in early autumn 2019 following a complex approval and publicity procedure. Jeanvré is convinced that REMINE will be a resounding success: “By opening this facility, we will be strengthening our own key areas of expertise and increasing our material recovery rates. At the same time, we will have a stronger position on the market, as – together with INDRA – we will be able to process and market the shredder heavy fraction ourselves.”

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