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  • Dear Readers!

    If truth be told, we had all been hoping that we would no longer have to talk about Covid by spring 2021. Who would have thought that we would be spending a second Easter and a second Ramadan with no end to the pandemic in sight? The longer this situation continues, the more difficult it is to maintain the public and personal discipline needed to fight the pandemic. People are weary. They are fed up with having to go from one lockdown to the next with there being no real prospects of life returning to normal. And while infection rates continue to rise no matter what restrictions are put in place, the country’s normally reliable federalist system is beginning to reveal some weaknesses. Is it really helpful that the measures taken to tackle this global threat are decided on at federal state level? On the other hand, why should public life grind to a halt in a sparsely populated region with a low two-figure infection rate just because the number of people catching the virus is rising exponentially in an area several hundred kilometres away? There are no simple answers but at least we are fortunate to have almost 27,000 ICU beds here in Germany and are better prepared for the situation than many other countries. However, being forced to focus almost entirely on treating Covid patients, hospitals are finding themselves in a difficult financial position – to say nothing of the huge and constant stress levels that the ICU healthcare professionals are having to cope with. At least the Covid measures have led to a dramatic decline in all other kinds of respiratory illnesses. Fortunately, the strict hygiene measures have meant that we have not had to deal with a flu epidemic this year.

    The world tends to view Germans as being both extremely organised and efficient. Some may be reconsidering their opinion, though, looking at the speed – or lack of speed – vaccinations are being rolled out. Which once again brings us back to the subject of using the private sector to deliver essential services. Here, too, many problems could have been prevented right from the start if politicians had taken up the help offered by the private sector to support the vaccination campaign. It can be assumed that an international online ticket seller, one able to sell millions of tickets for rock festivals or worldwide concert tours within just a few hours, would be able to organise online vaccination appointments faster and more efficiently than the overworked local health authorities with their outdated IT systems – and certainly without their website crashing or without them having to develop new software first. Such offers, however, have been taken up by just a few individual public health offices and then only belatedly.

    Are things running more smoothly in the circular economy? This latest issue of REMONDIS aktuell takes a closer look at the differences between rural districts and cities. It is, above all, the rural district authorities that turn to the private sector for help in providing a number of services – both in the circular economy as well as in the area of water and wastewater management. This approach not only promises to deliver the best services at sensible prices. It also has a major impact on how efficient their sustainability efforts actually are. With local authorities facing both an increased financial burden caused by the pandemic and an urgent need to renovate their infrastructure, it is well worth taking a closer look at the situation. 22% of local councillors believe that their local business tax revenue will be at least 10% lower in 2021 than it was in 2019. The majority of district and town councils, 64% to be precise, are planning to increase their local taxes and/or charges. There is certainly room for them to optimise their business operations in the area of cost-intensive key services, such as waste and water management, by systematically putting these services out to tender, extending their PPP arrangements or founding a new PPP company.

    We hope you enjoy reading this latest issue. Stay safe!

    Yours, Ludger Rethmann

3,000 euros raised

  • Kinderhospiz Sterntaler e. V., a children’s hospice in Mannheim, were delighted to learn of the joint efforts made by REMONDIS Service Südwest GmbH, RETERRA Südwest GmbH and REMONDIS GmbH’s material flow management department to support their cause. At the end of last year, Beate Däuwel from Kinderhospiz Sterntaler e. V. Mannheim was given a cheque for 3,000 euros by Jörg Strässer, operations manager at REMONDIS Service Südwest GmbH, and Matthias Schulz, assistant to the managing director at REMONDIS Service Südwest GmbH, on behalf of all three companies. Due to the current situation caused by the Covid pandemic, the cheque was not handed over in person.

The pandemic has been especially hard on charities

For three years now, the REMONDIS companies serving the region in and around Mannheim have remained in close contact with the Sterntaler children’s hospice. “We have all been very aware of the impact Covid has had, especially on charities. Which is why this year we decided not only to keep up but also to increase our Sterntaler donations,” explained Jörg Strässer. “By doing so, we are hoping to make it very clear just how much we admire the work being done by the staff at the children’s hospice and just how grateful we are to have them,” he continued.

“By doing so, we are hoping to make it very clear just how much we admire the work being done by the staff at the children’s hospice and just how grateful we are to have them.”

Jörg Strässer, Operations Manager at REMONDIS Service Südwest GmbH

A donation instead of customer gifts

This donation campaign began back in 2019 when people working at the companies expressed a wish to reduce the amount of money that was being spent on Christmas presents for their customers and business partners. And so, instead of spending time having to find, pack and send a suitable present (something that also has a negative impact on the environment), the three companies decided to commit themselves to a good cause and help many of the seriously ill children in the Rhine-Main region – and support local climate action, as well.

Thanks for the support

On behalf of the Sterntaler children and their families, the Sterntaler hospice thanked everyone at REMONDIS Service Südwest GmbH, RETERRA Südwest GmbH and REMONDIS GmbH as well as their customers for putting their funds towards social and environmental projects rather than giveaways. Such support is very welcome and helps charity organisations such as ours to keep going, especially in times such as these.

It is a blessing to see the growing support from both the public and so many companies – support which ensures these important places can survive.

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